A Northern Chorus Before We All Go to Pieces

With the successful release of the incredible Bitter Hands Resign last year, people seemed to be clamouring for all things A Northern Chorus, which includes this long out-of-print debut. Re-releasing albums seems to be in its heyday at this musical moment in time, and the choice to do so can be both good and bad. It’s great since people can appreciate where the band came from and how they evolved, but it can be bad when the most recent musical output is so good, that the original material seems horribly inferior. While Pieces does suffer in comparison to the assured Bitter, it still handles itself admirably and actually gives hope to the future. Indeed, there are even two unreleased songs originally meant for their debut, and while they are a little starker than the usual dreaminess, they still showcase that incredible vision that accompanies any A Northern Chorus release. For those who love their recent stuff, Pieces is a great acquisition, since not only is it a naturally strong album but it also gives later material more clarity. And really, isn’t that what re-releases should be doing? (Black Mountain)