Northstate rocks a country vibe in new EP 13 Bridges

Ryan McDonald
Staff Writer

There’s a lot to admire about a band that would rather make music they’re proud of, than sell out to a fancy label in order to make a few more bucks or get a couple extra radio spins. There’s even more to admire about the music that front-man Marcus Kiser and guitarist Brent Lain dropped today with their new EP release, 13 Bridges.  Drawing inspiration from their southern upbringing in North Carolina while simultaneously leaning on their 90’s rock influences, Northstate rocks, twangs and jams through 6 tracks that will cause most listeners to think to themselves “why have I never heard music like this before?” Marcus fully intends to buck this trend and give his new fans cause to open their socials and start spreading the gospel of Northstate with a side of fried chicken and coleslaw.  I’m sure he wouldn’t mind if a cold beer or two were cracked as well.

Speaking of beer, I mean, this is Raised Rowdy…Part, please meet Parcel.  A commonly used song writing theme is to calmly lay the foundation of a song and then build up to a catchy hook and roaring chorus to keep the listener locked in.  In “Waste Another Beer”, Marcus wastes absolutely no time in setting the record straight right from the open.

I’ve wasted all my love on you. Wasted all my time. Wasted all my money girl. Right down to my last dime.  But I found me a good time bar tonight. Gonna sit my ass right here. You can take this to the bank girl, I ain’t gonna waste another beer.

This song is pure country radio gold that with a pinch of luck will find it’s vinyl grooves dug deeper than the Grand Canyon in no time.

After the fires from love gone wrong are put out, songs like “Lookin’ At You” and “Back Pocket” beautifully illustrate how a man acts and feels when he’s with the right woman.  Brent’s guitars seamlessly weave back and forth from the 90’s rock riffs to a subtle banjo twang and effortlessly back into soaring solos that provide the perfect backdrop to Marcus’ stories about losing his train of thought, but still finding his hand in his girls back pocket.

Co-written by The Cadillac 3 drummer Neil Mason, “Pontiac” lets Lain really crank the amp as Marcus proudly tells the story of how trading up his old clunker takes him more places than just down the road.

A laid back, acoustic driven homage to their southern roots and the artists that wrote the Country Bible, “Book Of Waylon” lets the guys stretch out their lyrical capabilities in a song that will connect to many listeners in their own personal way.  As catchy as it is meaningful, this is one you’ll have to listen to more than a few times before you’re comfortable with how much you have in common with it, regardless of the zip code you call home.

To all the carefree, lighters in the air, ‘drift along wherever the wind blows’, girls…..Marcus wrote a song for you.  “Little Miss Rock ‘n Roll” lives by her own rules but at some point needs to head home.  Whether home be for the night, or back home to mama after a life on the road runs out of pavement.


Unapologetically original.  Fearlessly forging their way down Music Row to the beat of their own drum, Northstate’s opening salvo, 13 Bridges, will capture your attention and then lock it down tighter than Fort Knox.



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