North Star — Triskelion
(Musea FGBG 4076.AR, 1984/1993, CD)
by Henry Schneider, Published 1993-12-31
Sometimes I wonder what I am missing about a band or album Musea reissues. North Star is a case in point. They are a derivative neo-progressive band from Pennsylvania best described as a Genesis / Styx / Marillion hybrid. Triskelion is North Star’s first full length album, originally released on cassette in 1984, vinyl in 1988, and now on CD in 1993. Unfortunately, Triskelion is marred by songs of five minutes or less in length, a heavy emphasis on lyrics, and their annoying whiny nasal vocalist Joe Newman. At their worst, "Another Road of One" and "Time Traveller," North Star emulates the worst of all progressive bands: Styx. At their best, keyboardist Kevin Leonard and guitarist Dave Johnson cook, as on the sole instrumental "Herman Muenster." North Star should have focused on being an instrumental band and they may have garnered some recognition for Leonard’s Emerson-influenced keyboard chops. Newman’s voice and the lyrics simply destroy any listening enjoyment. It is a shame that Musea went to such lengths with this reissue: new Jon Alderfer cover art (also reproduced in shades of blue on the CD), three bonus tracks, band history, and lyrics. If you feel compelled to buy a North Star release avoid Triskelion and buy their second album Feel the Cold or any of Kevin Leonard’s solo releases. Triskelion may only be of interest to North Star completists and therefore puzzles me why Musea reissued it.
Ennio Morricone RIP – Famed composer Ennio Morricone has died at the age of 91. The creator of scores for more than 500 movies, some of his works have become the most recognizable sounds in the history of cinema. His soundtracks for Sergio Leone's Westerns made from 1964 to 1971, are iconic landmarks in film music, but he also composed for dramas, comedies, and other genres. He won the Academy Award for Best Original Score in 2016 for The Hateful Eight. » Read more
Keith Tippett RIP – One of the giants of British jazz has left us. Keith Graham Tippetts, known professionally as Keith Tippett, died today at the age of 72. His work from the late 60s into the 70s and beyond includes some of the greatest jazz produced in the UK, and stands as an impressive oevre to this day. » Read more
Phil May of The Pretty Things RIP – We were saddened to learn that Phil May, lead singer and founding member of The Pretty Things, has died at the age of 75. The band's 1968 album S.F. Sorrow is one of the enduring classics of the psychedelic era, and the group existed in various forms until finally retiring in 2018. » Read more