The great thing about reviewing smaller bands like Bird Sounds is that you get a real sense of authenticity in their music. Whilst these smaller artists don’t have the production capabilities of their more popular and better funded peers, the music they create seems that much more honest. They aren’t overdone and honed to perfection yet. And this can be wonderful in the right scenarios.
In their debut EP, Bird Sounds craft guitar driven post-rock in the vein of Explosions in the Sky, Mono or If These Trees Could Talk. Now, it would be a lie to say they are breaking any new ground here – but that’s not really an issue. Reflecting the occasionally loose sound, the entire EP has the feeling of an intimate live set (and it was, despite the cliché, recorded in one of the members’ garage). This links in to the aforementioned aspect of honesty – this EP feels almost like turning up to a local venue and experiencing this duo in the flesh. I feel this is something one has to appreciate with fledgling groups such as this – it gives the feeling of listening to music as it’s formed, before the hype and before the over-the-top focus on making every single aspect sound squeaky clean.
The music itself is a collection of four instrumental tracks under a classic guitar/bass/drums line-up. Unlike some more well known post-rock contemporaries, Bird Sounds don’t drag their tracks out through endless build-ups and crescendos. Rather, they come across as more straightforward instrumental rock with a tendency to create moments of soaring appeal. In particular, This Is Not A Song maintains a wonderfully moody aura despite the occasionally jarring drum track. This soon builds into some short and sweet upbeat meandering. However, I feel that A Bear Fight To The Death is where these guys really stand out, especially with regards to that ‘live set’ feeling. Much noisier than the other three tracks, this one has some great energy and is a worthy closer despite it’s 2:30 length. When it comes down to it, the authenticity of this release makes it an easy but enjoyable listen. If Bird Sounds ever follow this one up with an album, I sure hope they don’t sweat the small stuff.
Standout track: A Bear Fight To The Death