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North Warren dwell gleefully on disappointments on 'Glue'

Milwaukee indie-rockers North Warren dropped their debut album last March, just days before the pandemic upended the entire world. Bad timing, perhaps, although in some respects the circumstances made the band's small-scale slacker rock feel that much more welcome. The band's self-titled debut dwelled on insular concerns like underachievement and the sense that life just isn't working out quite like you'd hoped. While the world around us played out like an "Avengers" movie, North Warren delivered us a small indie drama, and there was something comforting about that.

"North Warren" was a short, quick album, and this month the band released a follow-up that's even shorter and quicker. The "Glue" EP sticks together four brief, guitar-dazed songs in the spirit of Cloud Nothings/Wavves/Telekinesis, really any project that features a young guy, some electric guitars and a bunch of songs about skirted ambitions.

North Warren |

"Does it ever turn out the way that you planned?" Luke Esperes asks on the opener, but he already knows the answer to that question. In the world of these songs, at least, it never does. And once again he pairs his bummer observations with some fetching riffs and grabby hooks that take exactly 100% of the sting out of all those disappointments.

Fun EP. The closer "Dyed in the Wool," with its tangled wordplay, is a standout, but the whole thing is a kick. Give it a spin below.