Byrds of Paradise, “Teenage Symphonies” LP

cover-byrds-of-paradiseByrds of Paradise
Teenage Symphonies
(Don Giovanni)

Byrds of Paradise have absolutely nothing in common with either the Roger McGuinn fronted ’60s country rock act the Byrds, nor the Timothy Busfield program the Byrds of Paradise that also featured a young Jennifer Love Hewitt and Seth Green. I know this because I just spent an hour and a half trying to find a witty way to tie either of those “birds with a ‘y'” into this whole review.

No, Byrds of Paradise hail from the East Coast, which is surprising, as their fuzz-infused garage pop has a lot in common with what’s coming out of California these days. The quartet could easily share a bill with Beach House or Wavves, no problem. However, on Teenage Symphonies, Byrds of Paradise manage to stray away from the Beach Boys harmonies favored by so many acts these days. The band instead chooses to head in a darker direction, with Echo & the Bunnymen and My Bloody Valentine seeming to be likely touchstones.

The lo-fi approach, masking everything in reverb and swirling echoes, covers up the fact that Byrds of Paradise are a tightly-knit group. Alan Yuch’s drums and Brenden Britz’s bass join together, pulsing behind everything like a dancer’s heartbeat, uptempo and energetic. The guitars fuzz and crunch behind singer Jared J Jones, whose distorted vocals are almost chanted, becoming something like another piece of percussion.

Coming in shy of half an hour, Byrds of Paradise’s first full-length shows a band with a fully-formed vision, who aren’t afraid to honor their influences, while at the same time creating a sound all of their own.