NIGHT BIRDS: Roll Credits: LP/CD

If anyone is going to release an album—or mini-album as the band refer to this as, containing just eight tracks—then the pressure is on to ensure that there is an absence of filler. Fortunately this is Night Birds, a band renowned for eschewing padding and one which also leaves no stone unturned in its approach to writing a great tune. Roll Credits include instrumental bookends, a specialty of this former quartet now sporting a second guitarist, and they do a grand job of containing the mayhem in between. My favorite, of many highlights, is at the start of the second track, “Onward to Obscurity,” where, as the intro plays, Brian Gorsegner’s desire to get involved in proceedings is evident as he screams his way into commencing his vocals on one of the best songs I’ve heard from Night Birds. Mind you, competition for that title is hot here as “White Noise Machine” is another contender, going by in a blur of seventy-five seconds. Mention must also be made of “Radium Girls,” which sounds to me like a midway point between Night Birds and Gorsegner’s other band, Character Actor, highlighting that it’s not all about the speed and that there is room for a hint of pop too. Few bands can touch Night Birds. In my opinion, it never fails to deliver, and I consider this to be its finest release to date. I would always want more songs, but Roll Credits has the feel of being something extra special about it and I think it’s the brevity that results in this being a perfect release. –Rich Cocksedge (Fat Wreck)