Reviews Night Birds Mutiny at Muscle Beach

Night Birds

Mutiny at Muscle Beach

It’s getting tough to find new things to say about Night Birds. They’re as great as ever with third LP Mutiny at Muscle Beach, it’s just that the sound hasn’t changed all that dramatically from day one. Album #3 is supposed to be when they go all avant on us.

Their career has filled out nicely, with textural differences and a bunch of nuance from start to now, but the core remains the same: ‘80s SoCal hardcore fused with a horror-movie theme. It’s paranoid, highly anxious energy that keeps pummeling over a subtle fear of the unknown—in this case, that unknown is slowing down. Mutiny is twelve songs and 25-minutes long. That’s not to say it never lets up, rather that whenever the songs turn toward a melodic wind-down there’s an almost uncomfortable quick jump back into spastic energy. They can’t sit still even when they want to; and that’s why it’s so good: because, try as Night Birds will, it’s high octane, pedal-down from start to finish. The key is that they can throw in those changeups making it move forward instead of in circles.

Starting with the rager “(I’m) Wired,” the album mixes vitriol and spite with a pent-up and seething frustration. The furious drumming leads the charge and the guitar takes it in new directions. Brian Gorsegner’s vocals spit and snarl over the top. In “Lapsed Catholics Need Discipline” (one hell of a title) it captures one of the best shout-out melodic choruses in recent memory, the kind of sing-shout that leaves one hoarse but without the cookie monster effect. Later on, “King Kong” is one of the hookier jams on record. It features a stompy irregular beat just like its namesake that, now and then, abandons chaotic destruction in favor of campy fun, calling out:



Everybody wants power
Everybody wants fame
Everybody wants money
Bah bah bah bah bah



It’s mostly brutal and rough but also joyous and self-aware. That transition between harsh and positive repeats throughout, keeping the negativity from getting overbearing with the surf songs that pop up every now and again. The band is, in no way, a surf rock band, but they mix in these tones to give as upbeat vibe to counter the anxiety. Mutiny at Muscle Beach riles the nerves but without any foreboding doom. Instead, it’s got a cathartic feel that’s conversely fleeting and in the moment. As “Left in the Middle” sings out “There’s no one left in the middle” at the album’s close, it’s both a memorable hook and pissed off nihilism: a frustrated call of resignation that begs for real action. That first action should be hitting repeat and turning the volume dial clockwise.

8.5 / 10Loren
See also

https://www.facebook.com/NGHTBRDS

Advertisement
Radio K 2
Leave a comment

8.5 / 10

8.5 / 10

Share this content
Related features

One Question Interviews Night Birds

Posted Nov. 21, 2013, 8:19 p.m.

Brian Gorsegner (Night Birds) SPB: Would you license your music for film, sports, or ads if given the opportunity? Are there exceptions to the rule ...

Advertisement
Dwarves - Take Back the Night
More by Night Birds

Night Birds

Born To Die In Suburbia

8.5 / 10 Night Birds - Born To Die In Suburbia album cover

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 ...

Night Birds

Maimed for the Masses

7.9 / 10 Night Birds - Maimed for the Masses album cover
200 Words Or Less

For how active a band Night Birds is, they still only have one studio full-length to their name. Instead of releasing the long-players, the band has focused on short-form EPs ...

Night Birds

The Other Side Of Darkness

8.5 / 10 Night Birds - The Other Side Of Darkness album cover

The hype had been building for Night Birds’ debut. They’ve released three 7”s and the band, feature ex-members of The Ergs!, Hunchback, and Psyched to Die, and put on a ...

Related news

Videos Night Birds drop video off new record

Posted Sept. 24, 2015, 9:40 p.m.

With a new record, Mutiny at Muscle Beach, coming out next month on Oct. 2 (Fat Wreck Chords), Night Birds have released a video from the album's title track ...

Records New Night Birds out soon

Posted July 29, 2015, 2:43 p.m.

Fat Wreck Chords has announced a new LP from Night Birds out Oct. 2. The new record, titled Mutiny at Muscle Beach, is their third full-length and first for Fat ...

Labels New Fat comp later this year

Posted June 4, 2015, 6:02 p.m.

Fat Wreck Chords will release a label compilation Fat Music Vol. 8: Going Nowhere Fat, their 8th label sampler in a line that has featured notable releases such as Survival ...

x

Logo

Looking for the SPB logo? You can download it in a range of styles and colours here:

Click anywhere outside this dialog to close it, or press escape.