By: Jimmy Sears

North of Nine came together in late 2014 to bring their latest EP, “Alive.” The band emphasizes that their sound comes from each member’s background. Drummer Rob Ketchum has a punk background. Guitarist Michael O’Grady comes from rock. Bassist Edison Lo is from Hong Kong. Jackson Gunthy is a vocalist and pianist, and Nolan Frank works the keyboard. Needless to say, I found myself hooked on each song because most of them mixed it up for a spicy mix of hearty songs.

“Can It Be You?” brings a swooning piece that feeds on the nostalgia of a previous relationship and the attempts to fill that void. I found this piece to have an interesting procession as pianos dominate the track while the combined vocals, synthesized track and rough riffs remind me of the Back Street Boys while not treading into “boy band” turf. North of Nine’s utilization of the piano serves to complement the rest of the sounds. “Eaten Alive” displays Gunthy’s piano work to carry the song as the lower tones darken the canvas.

North of Nine makes a successful debut with “Alive” to kick off their recording career. The combination of each band member’s background and talents makes this EP a good listen.

4 out of 5 Owls.

Download “Alive” off iTunes. Also check out North of Nine’s website at