Having been called indie rock, being a reference point in discussions of the city’s ongoing emo resurgence, and even being dubbed a power-pop project here and there, it’s safe to say North Warren straddles a lot of different subgenres. Depending on what song you’re listening to, those identifiers can all fit the Milwaukee-based quartet. However, the one North Warren descriptor we’ve encountered that’s least apt is, ironically enough, the term the band itself employs on its Bandcamp bio: “slacker rock.”

You see, there’s nothing “slacker” about this band. Since forming and releasing two singles in 2019, the hard-working outfit managed its first album in March 2020, chased that with its Glue EP in 2021, a pair of Steve Albini-mixed singles in 2022, and two more songs on a split with the fellow Milwaukee up-and-comers in Doubter last year. Along the way, the lineup solidified and the group—which got off the ground only months before a worldwide pandemic—was finally able to play out with regularity.

This Saturday, the decidedly-non-slacker-like band will headline a stacked local bill at Vivarium that doubles as a release show for yet another North Warren release. Despite its frequent live outings and its ever-growing/ever-improving recorded catalog, North Warren continues to undersell its motivation level (that most other local outfits would kill to have). Case in point: its sixth release in as many years, the forthcoming Body Language, kicks off with a song entitled “I’m So Lazy.”

While we don’t agree with that self-diagnosed laziness, it’s easy to get behind this chugging and riff-riddled rocker that announces the five-song EP in memorable fashion. Fittingly, singer Luke Esperes provides downcast—borderline apathetic—vocals to suit the song’s overarching theme of inaction, but the shouted harmonies, brash and headbanging musicianship, and the all-too-identifiable message makes “I’m So Lazy” one of our favorite songs to be released by a Milwaukee project this spring.

Work up the energy to be a better you and listen to our exclusive stream of “I’m So Lazy” today. Then watch North Warren play the song live at Vivarium on Saturday, May 25 at a show that also features Doubter, The Nile Club, and Okay Omen. You can do it!

About The Author

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Co-Founder and Editor

Before co-founding Milwaukee Record, Tyler Maas wrote for virtually every Milwaukee publication (except Wassup! Magazine). He lives in Bay View and enjoys both stuff and things.