There is literally nothing to dislike about Birds In Row.
For a relatively unknown aggressive hardcore band from Laval, France, they have an amazing amount of power to give to listeners that is also incredibly professional-sounding. Collected is, well, collected. It’s a combination of the band’s previous releases – the Cottbus EP and Rise of the Phoenix EP – that were recorded and released in Europe between 2009 and 2010.
So why are we talking about them? Well, they are the latest addition to the Deathwish Inc. roster with whom they plan on releasing a new full length with later this year. Currently they are in the midst of recording it, to which Deathwish provided a Tweet saying, “From now on, all communication between myself and Birds In Row (no twitter?) will be done using Google Translator. This will be fun.”
However, Birds In Row sings in English. Straight from the opener “Among the Ashes” to the end, it’s sophisticated hardcore that fills the space to the brim with sound. The melodies will no doubt swallow you. Luckily, they bring something to the table for everyone. For punks: it’s far more aggression than you’re used to. For hardcore til’ ya die people: it doesn’t just give you the basics but something more than that. For metalheads: the vocals are more adapted to a metal growl than typical hardcore.
The main thing Birds In Row nails is how important it is to have poetic, honest, and meaningful lyrics. The tension and chaotic screaming in “Chat Noir” builds to the lines: “Over the tragedy we leave along white barricades/ This was where we lived/ This is where it ends/ Common failure, common sailors/ Abandoned by the fortune of oil.” Incroyable, non?
Devout listeners of hardcore know what I mean when I say there’s always that one line that hits you somewhere deep inside (and that’s why we love this genre, right?) and in “A Kid Called Dreamer” that line is, “Life won’t build me no jail.” It’s brilliantly sung and repeated so perfectly that this is a direction we have been searching for.
Lastly, for a very long time I have wondered what it would sound like if a hardcore band took that raw aggression and applied it with an acoustic guitar. Look no further than “Outro,” where vocals hover over an acoustic song with hand claps. Don’t pass by this song – it’s a gem with just as much power as the previous songs.
There’s energy until the end with a go-go-and-restart formula that similar bands such as Touche Amore and Loma Prieta do. Seriously, check out Birds In Row (most of the record is available on their Web site for listening). This is a band you’re going to want to watch and have on your shelf.