I wasn’t in the control room when irony came like a rainbow—but was a dark cloud of cynicism—into independent music. But there was a definite shift in the late ‘90s when the torch was passed from Superchunk to The Promise Ring and then somehow ended in the hands of dudes (of both genders) with pants tight enough to curb sperm production (women don’t produce sperm, dude. If you’re going with the whole “both genders” thing, you might want to rethink that one. I’m guessing women in those pants might increase the production of said sperm in straight men.) and the words “indie music” no longer meant “independent” of anything, while the “music” part was debatable at best. (I guess that’s part of the irony. This time was also known as “The Golden Age of the Publicist.” Draw your own conclusions.) So, if you’re a punk rocker whose knee-jerk response isn’t “Turn that fucker up! Play it faster! More ‘fuck’ in the monitor!” and your scope includes an active liking of Elvis Costello, The Carrie Nations, an appreciation for early Cure and Echo And The Bunnymen, and songs like “Detroit Has a Skyline Too,” without the musty, creaky smell of imperfect nostalgia, I heavily recommend Sick Sick Birds. Early ‘80s indie pop, late ‘90s fireworks, late ‘00s recession-enforced honesty. Blood’s pumping through decades of music effortlessly in each song.
–todd (Toxic Pop)