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The North Wind

The North Wind

The North Wind

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Annamarie Parker
Annamarie Parker
Copy Editor

I am an English, Writing major with a double minor in German and journalism. I'm also pursuing my TESOL certificate while working for Housing and Residence Life. I love to travel and meet new people.

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The North Wind is an independent student publication serving the Northern Michigan University community. It is partially funded by the Student Activity Fee. The North Wind digital paper is published daily during the fall and winter semesters except on university holidays and during exam weeks. The North Wind Board of Directors is composed of representatives of the student body, faculty, administration and area media.

Students protest against Israel-Hamas war with campus encampment
Students protest against Israel-Hamas war with campus encampment
Dallas Wiertella April 30, 2024

Review: Presidents latest brings ‘Good Times’

On their fifth studio album, “These Are the Good Times People,” The Presidents of the United States of America prove they’ve come a long way since their days of singing about Georgia peaches.
With their distinctive sound and the unique vocals of Chris Ballew, they introduce an improved version of the ’90s rock that made them famous.
When The Presidents made it big in 1993, they were met by a music scene with very little diversity in sound. The same mix of alternative and grunge came around with every new artist who emerged. Powerful bands from Nirvana to Bush to the Goo Goo Dolls were staples for the popular sound of the time.
The Presidents set themselves apart by singing an ode to the random act of eating fruit. As popular as this song came to be, it was necessary for the band to prove their music held some real, obvious meaning. Since then they have showed they are more than just a silly one hit wonder.
The songs on their latest album are all musically very different. Using their mix of grunge and punk, the band also adds in folk sounds on some tracks as well as heavier rock on others.
The first single, “Mixed Up S.O.B.,” adds the catchy pop sounds worthy of today’s radio waves. While bobbing along to this song, the first track on the album, listeners then get to switch it up by stomping whichever foot they choose to the faintly country sounding “Loose Balloon.” After that, the song “Riot in the Sun” brings fans straight to the middle of a mosh pit with a high energy punk sound.
Although their style seems to be all over the place, they make it work by succeeding at each genre they approach.
A particularly stand-out track is the extremely likable tune “Ghosts are Everywhere.” Andrew McKeag, doubling as guitarist and bassist (a term the band coined “guitbass”) holds a steady combination of chords throughout the verses that in simple terms, just works. Furthermore, he shows his true ability during the chorus and music breaks.
Jason Finn delivers a steady beat on the drums that at times may induce the urge to head-bang. Ballew’s lead vocals sound so appealing because they are effortless.
While other leading men strain their vocals trying to impress, Ballew simply opens his mouth and speaks with a little more rhythm. Without trying too hard, he manages to still offer a sound that delights the ears.
Another song, “Flame is Love” seems to channel the big band style of Elvis while adding in the trumpets of a full blown Ska band.
This tune may turn out to be one of the most creative examples of mixing music that listeners have ever heard. An extremely modern portrayal of old school sounds, this track is a huge success that should gain them major musical props.
While people may be embarrassed to admit they enjoy the Presidents, it is soon proven that there is absolutely no reason to blush.
This album credits the band as being much more than just a silly, ’90s one-hit wonder. They’ve been at this game for a while, and their knowledge of music is easy to see. I’m sure by now they can afford to eat much more than just peaches.

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