Live Review: The North Trolls

529 // Atlanta, GA // November 15

There was a small movement around 30 years ago called cowpunk. Just like it sounds, the genre was country-tinged punk rock. If the North Trolls came out then, they would have been contemporaries of few of those bands. Hailing from Atlanta, they have an undeniable sense of place, possessing an ounce of country/folk in their punk music. A little goes a long way, though, and ultimately they sound more like a really fast pop band than anything else. In the end, they are like The Nerves, only faster and from Georgia.

Most of The North Trolls’ songs barely break the two-minute mark, but that’s all the time they really need to write a solid tune. On November 15, the band played a whopping 12 of these songs. Considering song length, the set still flew by. It was, however, probably the longest set they ever played. Numbers like “When I get Home,” “Hello, Mason,” and “Stripey Joe” were well received by the packed house, who insisted on singing the lyrics to almost every song. Vocalist and drummer Gus Fernandez obviously penned such catchy tracks for this specific purpose.

In addition to their own songs, The North Trolls played exactly one cover. Crammed in the middle of the set was The Marvelettes “Please Mr. Postman.” Their version, which had its own punky edge, paired well with their originals and forced the crowd to work on their frantic dance moves. After the dancing, singing, and clapping of hands, which filled the 30 minute set, the crowd left, only to return bigger next time. Cowpunk died out a long time ago and its novelty wore off before the genre became alternative country. The North Trolls possess a sort of energy and songwriting ability that would have let them outlast that phase anyway. Catch them.

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