Wednesday, June 22, 2011

'Fresh Kills Vol. 1' by Night Birds

By Jason Duarte
Grave Mistake Records
April 5, 2011
Rating: 5/5

After releasing the Midnight Movies 7'', Night Birds released a collection of everything they've recorded to date; the 2009 demo, the Art of the Underground 7'', the S/T 7'' and the Midnight Movies 7'', and called it Fresh Kills Vol. 1. This gem's only available on CD, but it's enough to hold me over until the band's first proper full length, The Other Side of Darkness. I saw them a couple weeks back at the Lucky Gator Loft in Chicago with Canadian Rifle and they played a few new ones.
The album starts with "Killer Waves," off their AOTU 7'', which is one of my favorites. It's a fast, intense and urgent song about the apocalypse coming in the form of (can you guess?) worldwide killer tsunamis. It's sometimes a lovely daydream, but then something happens like in Japan that makes you think twice about how much you actually romanticize the idea of near-human extinction. Nevertheless, I get it. Night Birds isn't hating on anyone, but the band's music is rooted in a sort of fantasy/escapist mentality.
Take for example "Thrilling Murder." Lead singer Brian Gorsenger sings about waiting in line at the grocery store when some asshole with a full cart cuts him off, wasting his entire afternoon. It's nice that Gorsenger didn't actually stab him in the neck, but the song's a great release for what happened that afternoon. I always hate it when I'm cut off, and for a brief second, I go to the extreme and think something like, "If I had a knife, I'd cut your dog's throat, then slice it from sternum to abdomen and hang him outside your front door right after you go to sleep." Never would I actually do such a thing to a cute, innocent pooch, but nevertheless, we all have those impulses and tendencies (if you don't admit it, you're in denial).
I highly suggest everyone who's a fan of The Ergs!, Deep Sleep, Psyched To Die, Hunchback, the Misfits, Dead Kennedys, any skate punk and/or any hardcore check out the Night Birds, because briefly and bluntly, they rule.

Fresh Kills, Vol. 1 track listing:
1. Killer Waves
2. Midnight Movies
3. No Way Home
4. Bad Biology
5. Triple Feature
6. Prognosis: Negative
7. Thrilling Murder
8. Unanswerable
9. The Gift Givers
10. Harbor Rats
11. Send Me Home
12. Living In the Middle
13. Can't Get Clean
14. Paranoid Times
15. Squad Car

Check out Fresh Kill, Vol. 1 here. Check out "Landfill Land" off their upcoming release, The Other Side of Darkness, out August 16 on Grave Mistake Records. Fresh Kills, Vol. 1 as well as the band's previous releases can also be found on Grave Mistake's web site.

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