RATINGS: A = must own B = buy it C= average D = yawn F = puke

Points North - Points North
Magna Carta

Rating: B+

Points North is not a porn star--this is not a band led by Peter North's brother, Points, or the direction his member may be facing! 

O.K., that was the worse joke EVER!  And at the expense of a great band!  No, Points North is a mostly instrumental band (they should be a TOTALLY instrumental band) who are slogging it out on the road (most recently on the west coast with the Pat Travers Band), giving it their all in an attempt to not only keep the genre of instrumental guitar rock alive and well, but also push it forward into new territory. 

The guitars are brought to you by a guy who was a finalist in Guitar Player Magazine's Guitar Superstar competition a few years back.  His name is Eric Barnett, and one listen to the opening riff from "Ignition" and it becomes clear he worships at the alter of Alex Lifeson!  Yes, there is a lot of Rush influence in this music--and the good Rush, not the keyboardy crud that came later.  We're talking the guitar-Rush!  Barnett is more than a one-dimensional guitar man, however, as he also has taken time to study the stylings of guys named Andy Summers, Al Di Meola and Michael Schenker.  There is a lot going on, as Eric plays with melody, has strong soloing skills yet is able to accomplish the difficult talk of making his guitar sing and actually make a true song out of instrumental guitar, which is not an easy task.  Music minus vocals is a tough gig.  Points North makes it sound easy! Barnett does not do this alone, as drummer Kevin Aiello is a master of rhythm and bassist Uriah Duffy is a low-end God who has played with many famous groups, including Whitesnake. 

Suffice it to say that Points North is a band that is certainly capable of nothing more than wanking and showing off, but in actuality they enjoy putting melody, structure and emotion into their tunes.  This release, their second album, sees the band getting tighter, stronger and more listenable.  As mentioned, the songs are what makes this effort great.  The great musicianship is icing on the cake.  Don't get me wrong, these guys can flat out jam, but they give you time to breathe in-between showing off.

The bottom line here is that this is an effort worth supporting.  These guys are writing and performing great music on their own terms and following their passion one hundred percent of the time. 

Simply put, this is good stuff!

Points North is:
Eric Barnett - Guitars
Uriah Duffy – Bass
Kevin Aiello - Drums

Track Listing:
Child's Play
Sky Punch
Rites Of Passage
Turning Point
Foxes & Cougars
Killer Pounder

By Jeb Wright