NEEDLES//PINS: Shamebirds: LP

I want to get this one right because I really liked this record. But it’s tough: I’ve listened to Shamebirds many times now and have struggled with that particular brain-tickle where something seems really familiar but you can’t quite put your finger on it. Know what I mean? So what’s the dealwith this band? I mean, it’s undoubtedly a great album, but what’s the reference point I’ve been looking for? How to Make Enemies-era Screeching Weasel? Joey Vindictive fronting a garage band that loved treble and veered a bit away from distortion? Then, after about the bajillionth listen, it came to me. Hear me out. This is what Sloppy Seconds would sound like if they were a three-piece that hasn’t based their entire identity around quasi-offensive juvenilia. Sure, it’s kind of a weird reference, but the melody’s there, the dude’s voice is practically a dead ringer, the songwriting chops are evident. Does that make sense? Sloppy Seconds if they sang about more interesting things? I hope so, because holy shit, you guys, Shamebirds works to great effect. Smart, catchy, buoyant, fun, and unceasingly snotty. Even if the reference doesn’t work for you, how about this: Check it out. I bet you’ll like it.

 –keith (Dirt Cult)