Night Birds, “Maimed for the Masses” 7-inch
If you've heard the streaming version of Night Birds' newest single, "Maimed for the Masses," do yourself a favor and go buy the 7-inch. You'd think that surf-punk wouldn't be harmed by audio compression for online play, but the physical version of the track just sounds so much more clean. The song, an ode to "Mrs. Foley's baby boy" (aka Cactus Jack, aka Dude Love, aka Mankind, aka New York Times bestselling author Mick Foley) is a surprisingly touching first-person perspective story of Foley's hardcore history in the squared circle. The three tracks on the flip side are exclusive to this release. "Barred Out" is a little weak, and didn't really grab my attention, but holy fucking shit -- if nothing else, buy this to get "Last Gasp." It's the catchiest song about autoerotic asphyxiation you'll ever hear, with a chrous primed for finger pointing sing-alongs: "I don't care/ If they stare" et al. "Last Gasp" is a snotty distillation of everything Night Birds do well, with a sinuous surf line intertwined with lyrics that are just this side of outlandish. It'll be lodged in your head all day, and I'd take care to not get caught singing the lyrics under your breath. Great work from Fat Wreck with this release. As a stand-alone release, it's quite good, and as a teaser for the next Night Birds full-length, it's monster. I want that sucker in my hands right the hell now. Take a listen to the title track over at Brooklyn Vegan.