Something about Birdmonster's horrendous name and straight forward sound hints at limitless humiliation. From the first song, the band gives the impression of being all press photos and e-mails lists. However, as the album progresses, Peter Arcuni and his 3 pals spin and weave a throbbing wheezing super villian of an album that hints at Tapes N' Tapes and early Built to Spill.
The heart-on-sleeve ballad Balcony stands out as an instant fan favorite. With the frolicking bass that makes lovers hold hands and a glowing chorus that erupts before your eyes, it commands attention regardless of your place in the crowd.
An epic revenge tale, it details a man falling for a woman named Rita in a bar. He falls for her and and joins her as she robs a bank in the town that took "from [her] everything [she] had."Everything refers to her husband who died 3 years earlier and before the song ends, the narrator is arrested and taken away in cuffs, all in the name of love. Arcuni's voice is spot on as it crashes into clouds at all the right places. Band Of Horses fans won't leave disappointed. What's WIth Your Brain also demands repeated listens, as it resurrects the scrappy lo-fi guitar of the early 90s and moulds it into a splash of drums .
While the album glows, certain songs dim the album's magic. Of Mice starts slow before entering a crunchy, jumping phase (not the good kind) that certifies it's place on the Don't play this playlist and opener Skeleton Suit is, in fact, a horrible place to start with Birdmonster. It's fun and fast, but it doesn't highlight the band's numerous strengths. In fact, it lumps them into that disastrous pile of bands that try too hard. However, plow through this and you're laughing.
Rumours abound about Birdmonster's live show and a press sheet story details skipping a night of partying with Death Cab For Cutie to play a show they scheduled. The songs on No Midnight scream to be played live and if such rumours are true, then sign my ass up.
- Darren Susin | 2006-10-05
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