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EP Review: Northern Blue by Cold Years

Aberdeen alt rock act Cold Years release their new EP Northern Blue on 2nd March via Homebound Records. Emerging in late 2014 from the seeds of a personal project by Ross Gordon (vocals and guitar), the current line-up of the band is completed by Finlay Urquhart (guitar), Louis Craighead (bass) and Fraser Allan (drums).

Cold Years have released two studio EPs to date; Mile Marker (2015) and Death Chasers (2016) both showcasing their infectious brand of driving rock. The band’s influences are deeply rooted in blues, rock ‘n’ roll, punk and Americana.

Think a Scottish version of The Gaslight Anthem with touches of The Menzingers. It’s all blue collar punk tinged Americana with a knack for a hook. Let’s be honest, you can probably forget about the Scottish bit, Cold Years are very much an American sounding band. Listening to the EP you’d be hard pushed to work out their origin.

Whether that’s a bad thing or not, we’ll let you decide. We’d be lying if we said it didn’t cloud our judgement though. That issue aside, Northern Blue is a steady EP, ‘Seasons’ and ‘Miss You To Death’ are excellent stand alone tracks. The former is an immediate punk rock track that begs to be put on repeat while the latter plays to the template of The Gaslight Anthem at their most accessible.

It’s a shame then that the final two tracks, ‘What I Lost’ and ‘Final Call’ are pretty forgettable. There’s a hint of something really good at the basis of Cold Years, Northern Blue just falls a little short of expectations.

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