Album Review: Point North – Brand New Vision

Californian pop-punks Point North make their stand on heartfelt, highly-polished debut LP, Brand New Vision

Album Review: Point North – Brand New Vision
Sam Law

“When all goes south, Point North.” As band mantras go, that feels like a perfect fit for the specific blend of punk pugilism and pop positivity on this buoyant 11-song collection. There’s a depth of feeling and artistic vision at play on Brand New Vision, though, that goes beyond polished hooks and affirmative platitudes.

It’s understandable. Guitarist Andy Hershey and vocalist Jon Lundin have been performing together under the Point North banner since 2017, with Los Angeles-based collaborations stretching back well before that. A Light In A Dark Place was technically their first album, recorded with a different, four-piece line-up and dropping in early 2017 to a sparse (albeit enthusiastic) reception. Like so many talented contemporaries, they were lost in a crowded scene and the band effectively died shortly afterwards.

The pop-punk gods work in strange ways, however. A throwaway 2018 cover of emo-rap wonderkid nothing,nowhere.’s Hammer – tossed up online more in hope than expectation – poured fuel on dying embers. A soon-rabid fanbase began digging backwards, demanding more. 2019’s Retrograde EP confirmed Point North’s status as contenders. With drummer Sage Weeber completing the line-up, Brand New Vision delivers exactly what it says on the tin: a rebirth, bigger and better than before.

Understandably, the record’s front-loaded pair of major collaborations have caught the headlines. Texan alt.rapper De’Wayne adds flavour to the soulful, surging title track, solidifying the hip-hop ties with which they broke through. Elsewhere, Sleeping With Sirens frontman Kellin Quinn’s appearance on the huge Into The Dark feels even more telling, bolstering a fist-pumping anthem into something arena sized.

Still, it’s as the rest of the album properly unfolds that Point North emphasise that they’re here to stay this time. A Million Little Pieces is an understated gem, built on downbeat keys and synths, while Heartbeat initially feels like a forgotten mid-'00s emo earworm – all clashing guitars and high drama. Apologue veers close to pure pop, its thrusting beat subsiding in and out of woozy verses and dreamy electronica, before Nothing Left To Lose wears its underdog heart on its sleeve, and curtain-dropper Be The Same stresses a desire to be anything but normal.

They’re not the finished article yet, but Brand New Vision marks a promising restart for Point North, and underlines the power of simply refusing to lie down.

Verdict: 3/5

For Fans Of: Sleeping With Sirens, With Confidence, nothing,nowhere.

Brand New Vision is released on August 21 via Hopeless.

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