Where do we look for good music? We mean “authentic, for the love of sharing art with the world” kind of good music. It’s rarely on the radio anymore. Streaming services can help give musicians bigger platforms, sure. But passion, talent and fun? It feels harder and harder to come by these days. Enter Andrew North and the Rangers.
If you want that real good music, go take a trip to the local dive bar and catch a cool set. Or maybe meet a new local talent at a coffee shop open mic night. If you’re lucky, you just might bump into this group.
Good music where you least expect it.
With a love of music, and a sense of humor that masks itself behind seriously good blends of jazz and rock, Andrew North and the Rangers have released one of the most fun underground records of the year in Phosphorescent Snack.
The band hails from Concord, New Hampshire and is filled with four small town friends who possess nothing outwardly in common. Different ages, hometowns, and even music backgrounds. When these four artists connected while searching for real good music at a local joint, they decided to join forces to create some of their own.
This record, which is their first widely available album, is filled with jams spanning 12 songs and over one hour in length. It’s nice, but it doesn’t cut as deep as it could. However, it’s the originality blended with likeable inspirations that keep it focused.
When we think jam bands, it’s classics like Grateful Dead and Dave Matthews. Have you ever heard a jam band use saxophone and keys in rotating fashion like a revolving door while still feeling like rock and blues? This is not just a good jazzy type group, its a band that leaves few elements untouched.
Phosphorescent Snack‘s first tune is called “Down the Pipes” and it opens like a concert which brings a sense of excitement. Slow piano touching all the high and low tones rattle off into catchy drums that sound like the curtain raiser to a real classic rock show. You may be surprised when horns, keys and bass greet you instead of guitar. It’s a catchy foot tapper but seems a touch too familiar like a song from a coffee shop soundtrack. In the end, it is still solid.
Listen to Phosphorescent Snack on Spotify:
Then there’s the tracks that surprise you with electronic fusions like “Chicken in the Backyard.” We are not exactly sure why Andrew North and the Rangers are talking bout fowl, but the lyrics are interesting to say the least. The track really does pick up with a cowbell and a sax solo that feels like riding a slip and slide down a rainbow. The layers all meet up and the drums carry into a slow bass riff. When the horns come back you are so glad because you never wanted them to leave. Keyboards also make this track feel like a classic song to feel in your soul. Like others on the album, it makes you want to dance.
The production is also a standout on this record. “11 at 11” sounds like Emerson Lake and Palmer met Boston, and that is hard to pull off without the proper equipment. As the band recently told us here at Beyond the Stage Magazine, they were glad to finally put these tracks together professionally.
Andrew North and the Rangers may not play the most appealing music that mass audiences want. That’s fine though. The people who really appreciate strong talent will. These are the bands you see around town. They are inviting, and they are good. Not only that, but they have fun lyrics that don’t try to be incredibly serious. Sometimes that’s okay in good music, because its clear the emphasis here is on their instrumentation.
It’s a sound so familiar but original at the same time. That makes it easy to listen to no matter who you are. So go down to your local dive, get a pint, sit back and relax. It’s a good spot to hear real good music.
Andrew North and the Rangers Phosphorescent Snack – 7/10
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