BIRDS IN ROW: You, Me & The Violence: CD

Imported from France, Birds In Row deliver a furious assault of metallic-tinted hardcore. Given the rawness of much of this album, it makes perfect sense to see it appear on Deathwish. The label nearly has the market cornered on raw, aggressive hardcore, making Birds In Row a perfect addition to their roster. Where Birds In Row excel, is in their ability to keep hitting you with a flurry of intense riffing and not let up. When they transition into breakdowns, you’re so pumped up, you can’t help but want to mosh or sing along. This intensity succeeds on the shorter, aggressive tracks on this album, particularly the opening four tracks. On songs towards the end of the album, particularly on the sprawling closing track “Lovers Have Their Say,” things get a bit meandering and don’t hold the listener’s attention as well. I think these songs were meant to have an epic vibe to them, the kind where you had your arms in the air screaming along, but I found that the muted guitar, subdued drums, and distant, muffled vocal screams of these sort of tracks rang hollow compared to the straight-ahead fury of the first four songs. Not many bands can pull off moody, melodic, or subdued sounds without sounding derivative or cliché, and I think Birds In Row falls into a bit of that at times on You, Me & The Violence. I think what would have made this better for me would have been a lot more “go” to go with the “slow” on much of this record instead of packing all the intensity into the first four songs. Every time I reached the end of this album, I either wanted to rage to the first four tracks again, or listen to something else. After a few listens, you might feel the same way.

 –Paul J. Comeau (Deathwish Inc.)