A History Of Action In the North Atlantic

Halifax, NS's A History Of follow their 2007 EP with full-length Action In the North Atlantic, a fully analog recording that furthers the band's clean, taut angles and their warm, young chemistry, most evident in the flawless "Dagger Woods," its vocal tradeoffs and layering helping to make it one of the most unconventionally infectious songs this side of the U.S. Midwest. Featuring members from other modestly known but much-loved Halifax punk outfits the Plan, Tomcat Combat and the Gamma Gamma Rays, A History Of also pack impressive melodies into their Drive Like Jehu dissonance that dig into the roots of their province's indie rock heyday ("Low Level") and Q and Not U's spazzy catalogue ("Position Fixing and Dead Reckoning"). But wordy hometown mathcore heroes North of America yield the biggest influence (the album was even recorded by former NOA guitarist J. LaPointe), and it's felt most in the brooding "National Tectonic" and the dense, buoyant complexity of "Strike it from the Lexicon," where these guys update a smart, visceral sound from a city that's been left enough alone to play with something old until it sounds exciting again. (Noyes)