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Northern Alliance | Hope In Little Things (45B)
Like the Delgados reared on a diet of Codeine, Northern Alliance are a slow, sad, sleepy trio from Scotland. Their first tiny mark on the world is 'Hope In Little Things', a seven-song mini-album that comes close to being something special, but just not quite. It pushes many of the right buttons. Festivity In The Arms Of The People and When The Clocks Go Forward are calming, final track Calibrate Your Love fairly rattles, yet somewhere amid the near constant traces of feedback, in the hints of post-rock, and in the ever-yearning murmurs, something's not quite right. That's partly because the combined vocals of Doug Johnstone and Viv Strachan are pale and distant, but more so that those feelings of disappointment and dismay hinted at are never quite realised. Northern Alliance are hurt, but they seem unsure exactly why. So near, yet also so far.

Ian Fletcher
CWAS #13 - Autumn 2003