Birds in Row hail from France and yet sound nothing like a French band at all (whatever a French band should sound like? In my head when I think French music, the only thing that comes to mind is Daitro, that’s probably why I always look positively on French music, anyway…..). Back to this record, this is their debut outing on Deathwish (who by the way are having a pretty good year aren’t they?), after a couple of releases on the US label Vitriol and the European Throatruiner. Their early stuff is well worth a listen, they sort of sit in the middle ground of hardcore and screamo, and play a really fast and aggressive brand of hardcore.
They fit the Deathwish mould perfectly, sounding similar to Converge yet placing themselves in a neat little corner of hardcore, you can tell it’s a Birds in Row song, I’m not sure why but I think it’s the guitar tone and viciously roared vocals.
The first track on this record “Pilori” whacks you straight in the face, a right hook to the chin, starting at some pace and not letting up, the lyrics blast you like a kick in the balls, “BASTARD, FUCKING BASTARD” I get the feeling the vocalist really doesn’t like someone. “Pilori” however for me is the stand out track on the album, it’s very memorable.
This is a violent, brutal ride with moments of clarity such as on “Last Last Chance”, a gentle amble around the ferocious world of Birds In Row. The song actually provides a nice break from the mayhem, before obviously throwing you right back into the maelstrom with title track “You, Me and the Violence”, welcome back!
So the first eleven tracks roll by in what seems like a blink of an eye, an enjoyable blink of the eye at that, eleven songs in twenty two minutes, so what are you expecting for the closer? A beast of a hardcore song that closes the album suitably? Of course, well you’re wrong.
The closer is actually a thirteen minute, slow, twisting adventure, called “Lovers Have their Say”. This song takes up roughly a third of the entire album, and I sort of like that. The vocals are still shouted, but it’s as if they are in the background, letting the slow drums and the winding thoughtful guitar take centre stage. Three minutes in and the song shows signs of life, everything gets a little faster and louder, still not at light speed, in Birds in Row terms it’s a walk in the park, that lasts for a minute or so and we’re back to a repeated drum and guitar section. It’s almost like an Isis song, it certainly has a post metal vibe. You can tell the song is coming to an end as the feedback becomes more prominent, the instruments fade away, and that’s it, done.
This track is a comedown from what has gone before, a more relaxed pace wander after the chaotic brutality of what has gone before it.
This album is good, in my top ten of the year for sure, if you like hardcore then you already have probably heard of them, if you don’t then give Birds in Row a listen, what harm can it do?
It’s out now and as its on Deathwish you can grab this on a rainbow of awesome colours, Yellow, White and Clear 12” and on CD.
And buy the new record here (USA): http://deathwishinc.com/estore/category/BIRDSINROW.html
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