CD Review

Northern Liberties – “Secret Revolution”

By Marcus Pan

Secret RevolutionNorthern Liberties bypass all the heavy handed mixing and remastering that’s going on today, and deliver a brasher edged thrashy punk style with their Secret Revolution release. Made up of Justin Duerr (voice, percussion, art), K. (bass) and Marc Duerr (drums & cymbals – though I find it silly to list cymbals, really) they keep a very down trodden sound that works for them most of the time. Occasionally they’ll get a little over the top with it, but it’s a fun kind of over the top – a big fuck off to the music industry itself.

Drums in particular are very hard edged, well played and recorded high throughout. Marc’s an accomplished drummer with an all-over-the-place attitude to his art. This is apparent from the beginning, especially on the drum happy Angels with Broken Glass Teeth. I love the trippy bass in Mold – combined with the drums they make for a solid mix alone. Here the vocals are half-assed done, with reasoning towards the basement style and industry flipping.

Lonely is interesting in its ballad attitude slammed against angry vocals. Auto Pilot is a melodic thrash piece done with style, though it will get a bit messy – vocals floating away from the rest of the pack. An interesting piece though. Beyond Beyond is deep down rumbling track, great basswork by K. As we move through the half way point of Secret Revolution the album gets a bit thrashier and unkempt. Don’t Kill My Sister for example is crude-level Ahab Rex[1] and Alice Donut[2].

Monument even has similar guitar riffage to stoner rock, surprising me in its Blind Dog[3] stylings. The drumwork of Mainframe once again shows the prowess of Marc Duerr, with K. joining him to create a heavy-handed rhythmic wall of sound. Nicely done. Latter tracks on the album, especially those after the listed fourteen (there’s a couple bonus tracks thrown on here for good measure), are done very sloppily and probably ended up on here as an afterthought it seems.

Northern Liberties have some interesting work here on Secret Revolution. Thrashy but occasionally melodic to add a bit of a twist, a nod to the basement level of music creation without the overly done mastering coming from the big boys of the industry. Strays occasionally a bit too far into this, sometimes, as Northern Liberties look for that happy medium. Excellent drumming and bass, a bit boorish with the vocals. But otherwise it’s lots of fun, noisy and boorish – but never cumbersome.

Contact Information:
Worldeater Records
Post: PO Box 42728, Philadelphia, PA, 19101, USA
[1] Rollin’ With the Ahab Rex Quartet was reviewed in Legends #150.
[2] Alice Donut’s Three Sisters was reviewed in Legends #143.
[3] Captain Dog Rides Again was reviewed in Legends #113 and Blind Dog Rides Again was reviewed in Legends #138.

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