Reviews Night Birds The Other Side Of Darkness

Night Birds

The Other Side Of Darkness

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 great show at Fest 9 in Gainesville. When that much hype builds, often it comes tumbling back to earth when the actual product is released. Not so for The Other Side of Darkness. In many ways, the band picks up where Psyched to Die left off, sharing Psyched’s drummer (and Night Birds’ vocalist) Brian Gorsegner. However, there’s a manic, more urgent feel to Night Birds. It’s angry at a fucked up world, but also just a little bit crazy and ready to burst.

The band is heavily steeped in 1980s SoCal hardcore, with surf undertones and a relentless, trucker-speed energy that carries it through. The biggest breather in the thirteen track record comes at the start of “Oblivious,” which is just a sound clip before the final song. The record owes a lot, if not everything, to classic ‘80s hardcore like The Adolescents and The Germs, but managing so with a modern twist. The production values obviously beat their SoCal influences, and the general tone is a bit lighter than the despair-laden nihilism of many of the genre’s forbearers. Within Night Birds’ songs is a self-aware feeling that they know they’re derivative—they just don’t care. In “Oblivious,” when Brian Gorsegner sings about the apocalypse, it could easily be about the final rapture (due last May—or this October…or 2012) or the ‘80s threat of nuclear annihilation. There’s something of an ambiguity to the lyrics, reinventing the original themes of ‘80s songs for a modern environment. The refrain of “Paranoid Times” echoes ‘80s Cold War sentiment, but the target has shifted and the band cleverly plays on these mantras. Meanwhile, the music blazes past at breakneck speed, with only four of the thirteen songs topping two minutes.

The influences and authenticity of the music are pretty straightforward, with a surf undercurrent, brought to the forefront for a moment in “Day after Trinity.” Overall, it’s a cathartic race that’s over seemingly too quickly.

8.5 / 10Loren
See also
night-birds.bandcamp.com/
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

Mutiny at Muscle Beach

8.5 / 10 Night Birds - Mutiny at Muscle Beach album cover

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 ...

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 ...

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.