Reviews Night Birds Born To Die In Suburbia

Night Birds

Born To Die In Suburbia

Releasing the 7” teaser Maimed for the Masses certainly helped introduce the increasingly prominent surf guitar in Night Birds. Still, the opener “Escape from New York” is a holy shit moment as it perfectly blends surf lines with punk aggression. After their debut, The Other Side of Darkness, I was wondering just how far the band could take their sound and it took all of three seconds to be convinced they will continue their ascendance.

The New Jersey/New York band brings hardcore, 1980s California-style. It’s relentless and pounding, yet melodic and spastic. Singer Brian Gorsegner spits rapid-fire over the band, gasping for breath and adding to the assault. Where the first record played off ideas of paranoia and impending doom, they grow the brand, so to speak, adding horrorcore elements, suburban expansion, mental disorders, domestic disturbances, religion and cults, and drug use. The topics are timeless and important, with a certain emphasis placed on imagery of disturbance, chaos, and anxiety, fitting PJ Russo’s guitar style well, as in the fist-in-the-air “Modern Morons,” with its alternately winding and then circular patterns, and in “Pretty Poison” with the manic guitars that only really stabilize enough to deliver a two-line refrain before the tension rears another cycle. The band jumps into some manically haunting tones in “Ads in my Eyes” and “Nazi Gold,” which helps play on the unstable tone, and they only momentarily shift the tempo down, which gives a nice breather to the listener without interrupting the overall flow of the record. 

There are two instrumentals here, used as introduction and interlude more or less, but they aren’t throwaway jams either. I expect to see them played at a live show, though I have yet to catch them in recent tours to see if that’s the case. They help to spice up the record, to slightly slow things down for a moment, and to give additional depth, sort of having the effect that “Bankshot” has on Op Ivy’s Energy record. Ultimately, though, they complement the already manic energy at hand by offering the soothing calm ocean, whereas the other twelve songs tear, claw, and throw themselves at the listener in a crushing blow. 

8.5 / 10Loren
KFAI - Roar of the Underground
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8.5 / 10

8.5 / 10

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