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Monday, 10 September 2012

Night Birds - The Other Side Of Darkness

Night Birds were probably the best punk band I saw last year. Completely off the hook. Singer crawling through the crowd's legs. Guitar and bass players running around everywhere. Actually, yeah, it was the guitarist going through people's legs now I think of it. His rather fetching white Gluey Porch Treatments t shirt ended up a a brown, soggy, torn mess.

Of course, if someone likes the Melvins you can generally trust them musically.

And punk bands that aren't completely and utterly myopic musically are also a good bet.

Night Birds hit the spot musically as well. Surf punk is the best description. Surf-y guitar lines mixed up with some of that post-Observers snotty tuneful punk rock. Some super catchy tunes. And they sound like they're going a million miles an hour and about to fall apart at any second (but actually being mid-paced and far from being an all blur - they just have that feel if you see what I mean).

Before State Icons got asked to play the Brighton date on their tour I'd never heard of them. Found an illicit download and ended up playing it on repeat for a few weeks. Still gets plenty of spins. I might even go so far as to say they might be the best current punk band. Obviously, my opinion on that position changes frequently but they're always up there. Honestly, highest possible recommendation to check them out.

That brings me to the nit-picky bit of this review. You can buy the whole album digitally. And that's great. That's kind of the whole point of this blog. Making stuff available to buy digitally in a DIY manner is awesome.

However, you can only stream two songs. You can't even stream the song I reckon is the best one. The total headshot tune that'd instantly make you fall in love with the band. That'd be Neon Gray if you're interested. Doesn't seem to be on youtube either. Guess you'll have to find a dodgy mediafire link or fire up soulseek. I'd definitely recommend it. And fuck it, no-one has got the LP for sale in the UK anymore. I want repeat my rant about the stupidity of the limited nature of vinyl records. Especially as they've got it up for sale digitally. But it's a bit daft that I'm sat here screaming at you to check them out because you'll definitely love them but for some reason you can't listen to it properly. I can understand why people do it because someone might rip the stream and bung it up elsewhere on the internet for free. But that's already happened. It's already out there. And I'm telling people to go out and find those dodgy rips so they can listen to it. Instead, they could listen to it easily and they'd be a great big button saying BUY in their browser.

Plus, virtually no one buys music on spec anymore. They only buy stuff they've already heard. I know I do. Bought enough crap records in my time that I really don't feel the need to buy records I haven't already heard anymore. To the labels that complain about that because no one buys your records I'll paraphrase Dead Kennedys (who Night Birds get compared to quite often), maybe you put out one too many lousy records.

Night Birds is far from being a lousy record. Genuinely a fucking great record. Night Birds need to damn well make another record and come back over here and tour again.

UPDATE: Grave Mistake records mentioned in the comments that they've got the whole thing up to stream on their bandcamp here - Grave Mistake records bandcamp

There's the whole album to stream so now you can listen to Neon Gray and fall in love straight away.

Put Grave Mistake up in the recommended labels in the sidebar as they've got all their stuff up for streaming and download. Genuine DIY punk labels are well worth supporting so get on it.


  1. Thanks for the review! You can actually stream the FULL LP (as well as the FRESH KILLS VOL. 1 singles colletion) at http://gravemistakerecords.bandcamp.com/

    Also the vinyl is still very much in print from both myself (Grave Mistake Records) here in the US, and Taken By Surprise records in Germany ... hopefully more copies make it to the UK though we want this record to be easy to find! No desire to make the LP limited or hard to find, trust us!

  2. Ah, cool, I'll update the post with links. Bunged Grave Mistake on the recommended labels link on the sidebar as well.

    Was a little bit drunk when I wrote the review so hope I didn't try and make out that yourselves or Night Birds were bad.

    Hopefully a future post I'm going to write about "selling digital to subsidise vinyl" will make my opinions on the whole thing clear. I don't want vinyl to die off. Just think it's a good idea to make the option of buying digital available. So yeah, the fact that you've got all your stuff up is great. Might have to grab that Big Eyes stuff as I'm in a total power/pop punk trip and their stuff is sounding great.