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Northstar | Pollyanna | review | punk | Lollipop


Pollyanna (Triple Crown)
by Jessica Parker

Emo pop-punkers Northstar hail from Hunstville, Alabama, but you'd never know that listening to Pollyanna, their second album for Triple Crown. Their songs are more in the vein of fellow labelmates and tour partners, Brand New. Of course, most emo songwriters add violent imagery to all their romantic tragedy so they sound cooler, and Northstar are no exception. Singing about gun triggers, hospitals, sex, and relationships, Northstar still manages to be cocky. However, Northstar (fortunately) lacks the most annoying thing about emo: Pity. Unlike most emo bands, they don't ask you to pity them. During "Pollyanna," lead singer Nick Torres' states, "You look so lovely running through my fingers" and then later in the same song he sounds a little less romantic: "And rub until she fakes it." It's good to hear some guy sing about a girl and not have to feel sorry for him. The title track also has a great chorus that kids will sing along to alone in their rooms or as a collective during a live show. It's the way emo fans are, and it's what emo bands strive for.

The only song in which Northstar's Southern breeding is apparent is in a twangy acoustic song called "two zero two." Torres' voice is very reminiscent of Brand New's Jesse Lacey, slightly nasal and drawling. Northstar takes a few other obvious pointers from Brand New, but for the most part, they're able to stand on their own and present an interesting album filled with a variety of songs for every mood. They nail anthemic pop-punk ("For Members Only"), emo angst ("Pollyanna," "To My Better Angel"), and radio-friendly fare ("Between Horns and Halos"). Similar to others in their genre, Northstar's Pollyanna at least proves that they're definitely not the same.
(331 West 57th St #472 New York, NY 10019)


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