The Other Side of Darkness
Night Birds know how to kick things off. “Demon Haunted World” is the perfect album opener: badass intro, building to a speedball of a song that slambangs into the second track, “Neon Gray,” without missing a step. I’ve listened to this album fairly much nonstop since it showed up, and I’m still not quite sure where one ends and the other begins. This interconnectedness demonstrates right off the bat that The Other Side of Darkness is assuredly an album, differentiating itself from the band’s prior singles with a thematic sense of purpose.
I was just on my way out of the house to run errands, when this popped up on my Facebook feed. I had to share it with you folks immediately.
The cover art to the new Night Birds full-length (coming August 16 on Grave Mistake), The Other Side of Darkness is immediately to your left, and you can listen to “Landfill Land” below. The track is a continuation of the surf-punk the quartet has become known for, but it’s harder, louder, and better-produced. The bass work on the track really comes through thanks to that production, and just makes the whole thing sound fantastic.
I couldn’t wait for The Other Side of Darkness as it was. Now, I’m foaming at the mouth.
“Cry Cry Cry” single
Did somebody distill all my favorite 7-inches into one potent platter of punk rock punchiness? If nothing else, it takes massive balls to entitle a song “Cry Cry Cry” and go nowhere near a Johnny Cash reference. The Shirks may very well be the heirs apparent to groups like New Bomb Turks and Gas Huffer. It’s thrilling, dirty, punk-inflected garage that rolls along like a hot rod.
Granted, it’s nothing new. The Marked Men do it well, as do the Hex Dispensers and Beat Beat Beat. Is the Washington D.C. group rocking it just as well as those groups? Fuck, yes. The Shirks know how to write a scuzzy number. You’d be waving your beer around and slopping everyone in your vicinity if you heard these tunes live. This 7-inch will blast by, and you’ll flip it over and throw it on again. And again.
MP3: the Shirks, “Cry Cry Cry”
Fresh Kills Vol. 1
Normally, we try and steer clear of CDs here in the basement, because … well, first of all, we don’t have a CD player down here. Running CDs through the PC speakers is fine a and dandy, but for full effect, we really like to rattle things off the desk and shelves with a run-through on the ol’ Frankenstereo.
Still, most of the material on this here Night Birds disc comes from previously released vinyl (specifically, the Art of the Underground single series #48, the Midnight Movies EP, and their self-titled 7-inch), as well as the band’s demo cassette. So, we felt honor-bound to let you know you can get everything the band has thus far released in one easy location, and get addicted before they release their first full-length, The Other Side of Darkness, later this summer. So get your save the date cards ready and make sure to remember this release.
Turn Me Off
Is it offensive to say that Deep Sleep really remind me of Good Clean Fun? Like, Shopping For A Crew-era Good Clean Fun? It’s meant as a huge fucking compliment, but comparing a “real” band to a “joke” band might come off as an insult in terms of influence. It’s just that “Nothing Inside” is like someone smashed “Who Share Wins” together with the intro to “Rise Above,” and it might be one of the best things ever.
Every time I listen to Coke Bust‘s Degradation E.P., I get a little younger, and a little more in touch with my inner hardcore kid. I have this theory that if I listen to it enough, I’ll be transported back to my days of seeing H2O play all-ages matinees.
And, honestly, it’s an EP you have to listen to over and over again. It’s a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it flurry of short, furious attacks. “Another Fucking Problem” opens the record with a machine-gun litany of shit you don’t want to deal with: “Work, death, bills, time, life, stress,” and after that, you’re off to the races.
“So Dim” single
Alex at Grave Mistake describes Brain F≠‘s new single, “So Dim,” as well as their “Restraining Order” debut as “mandatory buys for the beginning of the year.” I agree, even if I’ve only heard this one, “So Dim.” It’s disorienting, to say the least. Both tracks clock in at around the two-minute mark, and are blasts of fuzzed-out garage punk.
Six More Reasons to Hate the Ladies
There need to be more bands that sound like Apocalypse Hoboken or Quincy Punx. That adenoidal snotty piss-take on the vocals, sneering your way through songs that never break the three-minute mark? Check. Chords thrashed out, blasting through songs like a bull romping through a china shop? Check.
This record’s getting a lot of comparisons to the Dwarves, but I’m willing to wager that’s more due to the naked woman on the cover in what looks to be an Ilsa, She-Wolf of the SS-style Nazi softcore fetish film. You combine shocking imagery and large-breasted naked women, and the Dwarves are bound to come up — the Ladies further augment the shock with “Dismemberabilia” fading out the end of the EP with some squeals and screams that could easily be thought to be those of the woman getting whipped with a riding crop on the back cover.