There is a certain satisfaction of getting into a great band near the beginning. It doesn’t seem like it was almost five years ago that I picked up Night Birds’ second 7” on a whim because I was going to be seeing them at Chaos in Tejas. Looking back, it was a life-changing moment that was solidified by seeing them play at said fest, meeting them, and finding them to be great people. More 7”s followed, as did two LPs, each of which managing the near-impossible task of being better than the previous record. A lot of touring and non-stop buzz has brought them to one of the biggest punk labels for this, their third LP. Just like the last album welcomed new guitarist PJ into the fold, this album is the debut for new drummer Darick, who fits in perfectly. My expectations for this album were incredibly high. I have become a Night Birds fanatic. Somehow, if this wasn’t better than Born to Die in Suburbia, I was going to be let down. Is that ridiculous? Because Night Birds have stepped the game up again! This record is pure insanity! Everything I have come to expect from these guys is sprinkled with a manic delirium (that can most likely be attributed to singer Brian becoming a new dad) that sends these songs over the top. To sum it up, Night Birds play hardcore punk rock that is tailor-made for me—intense and catchy songs with no sign of metal in the mix. The lyrics tell strange stories that are perfectly encapsulated in a minute-and-a-half to two-minute servings. Oh yes, of course the surf guitar is there, too. My fourteen-year-old self would have never believed that I would discover one of my all-time favorite bands when I was in my late thirties. I will be waiting patiently for their even better next album. In the meantime I will see them play every damn chance I get.
–ty (Fat Wreck, [email protected], fatwreck.com)