Northern Diving Co., formed in 2000, was a Minneapolis rock band that sought to embrace both American and Brit alt rock influences. In seeking to welcome each band member’s influences, Northern Diving Co. was one the beginning seed of The Law Collective.
The band evolved through lineup changes, beginning as a five-piece fronted by Justin Law and Erin Kate, morphing into a trio, and then settling into four-piece with Law on vocals and guitars, drummer Justin Korhonen, bassist Mark L. Jonsson, and guitarist Matt Uttech. NDCo quickly rose to weekend slots at Minneapolis venues and then disintegrated before most were the wiser.
Northern Diving Co. released the EP Silver Side Up in 2000 (before a certain oft-hated Canadian Nickelback chose the same title). Recorded at beloved Third Ear in Minneapolis, Silver Side Up contains five songs that mix introspective melancholy harmonies with atmospheric, distorted guitar.
The band continued to push the atmospheric envelope with 2002’s Going Under Killed By Wonder, recorded in Korhonen’s studio and mixed by skilled track-tweaker Alex Oana. Featuring a more focused guitar sound, the lyrics bore the mark of band relationships that had failed.
Before going silent, NDCo placed tracks on compilation record Unsung Heroes and one from Velvet Blue Music, sharing stages with national bands such as Switchfoot and PFR.
The last two songs of Going Under Killed By Wonder signaled what was to come, unbeknownst to the band. “Sweet Sweetly” and “Seem Too Simple” conclude the album on a decidedly sparse and acoustic note, resting more specifically on Law’s voice. The next release from Law, The Phoenix, would begin with a thematic nod to his past with NDCo in the opening track “Here Underwater.”