Reviews Night Birds Roll Credits

Night Birds

Roll Credits

Roll Credits is an 8-song “mini-album” homage to the classics. Night Birds--the now veteran band of 10 years--says it was made thinking of short-play classics like Negative Approach’s Tied Down and Minor Threat’s Out of Step. Short, fast, loud.

It’s a good starting point for their approach, but first, more about the release. In addition to being a 12” EP, Fat Wreck is also releasing it as a limited edition 7” box set with 8 different artists’ contributions. The EP also marks their growth to a 5-piece, with the addition/return of original guitarist Mike Hunchback.

All that said, the record is what familiar listeners will expect of the band. The 8 songs crash past with a couple surf instrumental interludes, a lot of fury, and some clever lyricism that straddles the line between serious and tongue-in-cheek. It’s alternately aggressive and playful, often dancing those two lines at the same time. The content is dark, like “Radium Girls,” but sometimes with a winking twist, as in “My Dad Is the BTK.” Jerry A (Poison Idea) contributes guest vocals in “Onward to Obscurity” -- a brilliant song title for a punk band celebrating 10 years if I’ve ever heard one--and Kate Eldridge (Big Eyes) sings in “Radium Girls.”

The band rolls along melodically in fare like “My Dad Is the BTK,” whereas “The Day I Beat My Brain” opens with a classic Ramones lead. “White Noise Machine,” is a vitriolic, vocal tradeoff rager, and “I Need a Torch” has a darker tinge before the tide rises to a more positive-in-sound, big hook jam with an underlying surf bass line. Meanwhile Brian Gorsegner’s vocals sing of needing security. It’s what the band does best: balancing rage, anxiety, and insecurity in a torrent of hardcore, fueled at its core by a wave of surf chill. It’s frantic but not breakneck speed, rather fast and melodically-minded with deep roots in American hardcore. The biggest difference to me on this album is the darker tinges that peak in here and there, and the fullness across the board, likely in part because of the addition of a second guitar. 

Eight songs, 17 minutes, and no filler.

7.5 / 10Loren
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7.5 / 10

7.5 / 10

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