Formed in 2003, North Of Grand have been based out of Des Moines, Iowa for ten years now. After four previous releases as a three piece, the band upgraded in 2009 with the addition of lead guitarist Matt Wellendorf to become a powerful four piece rock n roll band.

A Farewell To Rockets shows a mature band that seems familiar with the concept of modesty. From the opening notes these guys seem to have a firm grasp on not overbearing the listener. Despite sounding like a full blown rock band there is something immediately soothing about the way these songs are played. A lot of it can be credited to the vocals of Sean Wilson. He has a way of singing that layers over the music delicately without sounding too soft. If you have been unfortunate enough to hear Vasoline Tuner than just imagine those vocals, but serious and good with sensible lyrics.

There aren't any huge hooks on this record and that may be where the band is lacking. That isn't to say the band doesn't have any memorable songs, they do, but nothing embeds itself in your head like you would hope for from a great rock record.

What North Of Grand do deliver on is a half hour of nine solid rock songs that are very well written. There aren't any big hits here, but I get the feeling that this isn't the type of band that is interested in giving up their integrity to make a hit. Imagine a more rock oriented and relaxed Descendents and you may have a good idea of what North Of Grand are. It's very good, but not incredible.