North of Nine is the brainchild of frontman Jackson Guthy, once a soloist singer-songwriter who’d opened for such names in the pop industry as One Direction and Big Time Rush, and American Idol’s executive producer and bassist extraordinaire, Randy Jackson. The group has been one of 2015’s more hopeful up-and-coming boy bands in terms of collectives that could actually land a hit. The band’s Alive EP is an amalgamation of untypical archetypes that are associated with the traditional bands of young men: all are fine musicians in their own right, with Guthy having written all of the tracks on the album on his own, producing headstrong rock attitude and catchy pop melodies fused with mindful lyrics.
Lead single “Can It Be You?” fronts the quintet of songs available on the EP, highlighting all of the aforementioned traits of the band, as well as Guthy’s easily identifiable vocal tone and grit. Each song on the mini-record is a potential radio hit in and of itself, however, with shades of Andy Grammar, Maroon 5, and Matchbox Twenty pervading throughout alongside the band’s own individual flavors, which in large part are driven home by Guthy’s strong lyrical sensibility.
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