Local Wire

North Dakota @ Fort Wanderlust

Michelle Blades can't sit still. Her latest solo record, Mariana, is still fresh off the press, but along with her bandmates in North Dakota (Emily Hobeheidar and Mo Neuharth), she's ready to release yet another new record this week. Aside from Blades' signature vocal flutters, North Dakota is an entirely different beast from Mariana, given to fitful percussive splashes, tense, reverb-soaked post-punk guitar, and riot-grrl gang vocals. The debut EP feels geographically centered, with the second track, twitchy "Fargo," butting heads with closing song "China/Japan," while the non-location-specific songs "Thing" and "La La La" reveal pop chops, with the latter cresting on a bouncy guitar line and contrasting vocals from the trio. Hopefully, it's a taste of things to come, because the four songs leave a strong desire for more.

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Jason P. Woodbury is a music and pop-culture writer based in Phoenix. He is a regular contributor to the music blog Aquarium Drunkard and co-host of the Transmissions podcast.