Must Hear Music
Reviews Archives
Bargain Basement
Music DVD
Send Us Mail
Contact Us

No Midnight

Birdmonster, a name that sounds like it came from a horror film, is a foursome from San Francisco, California whose thunderbolts of '50s rock jabs and modern rock energies bulges with unbridled urges and impassioned brawn. Their full length debut disc No Midnight was produced by Bradley Cook (Foo Fighters, Queens Of The Stone Age) and the band enjoys melodies with thickening treatments from the banjo, cello, melodica, and piano parts which purvey a Cursive style coterie.

Lead singer and guitarist Peter Arcuni has similar vocal buckles to singer/producer Charlie Sexton and the active guitar playing of Lucero. The hooks and pelts by guitarist and piano player David Klein are buffed with melodic intricacies from multi-instrumentalist Justin Tenuto carting tumbrels of bass, slide guitar, melodica, and banjo parts. Behind the grooves and tempo rates is drummer and cellist Zackary Winter. A lot of serried instrument slings and crenellated movements are going on in Birdmonster's songs, which keep them brisk, extroverted and conditioned with fluxing tempo changes. The intercepting lines are spirited and the chord progressions are made effortlessly. The music exudes a combination of garage rock gaskets with roots rock chops and jam band blues heartiness rolled up in impulses of lust.

The garage rock ethers on "Skeleton Suit" preen of rugged milling, yet are polished with refined motions. The songs are top heavy in bass grooves and shooting guitar lutes like on "Balcony" which generates a Mogwai furling wrangle. The instrument parts work in harmony with each other yet burgeons with individual incandescence. "Alabama" layers the arrangements with a Stained-style excitement and project interspersing music fragments that build up and spills out. "The Bar In The Back Of The Basement" propels eerie guitar vibrations along sallow bass movements and country western cycling. There is a Johnny Cash charring on the number.

The title track is a conciliatory ballad, which emotes of acoustic guitars and vocals at the base with distinctive banjo sessions nuzzling the country/folk contents. The angular linings on "Sparrow" collide, creating velocity and hoops of rootsy rock tones. The boorish vocals on "Of Mice" smash and crush as the melodic turns balk and blare. "What's With Your Brain" carries a Rhett Miller (from the Old 97's) vocal tone with over-arches of instruments that lobe like musical carousels while the melodic acoustic sessions on "Ice Age" drift along marching band drum rolls and strong, crisp guitar lancing. The music arouses and ignites while keeping a melodic constitution.

The final track "Spaceman" clutches indie-pop décor with cute, lighthearted twizzles similar to The Unicorns. The bass moves are prominent as the instrument parts combust and rustle. The track includes a taillight of acoustic guitar series and bare vocals adorned with country/folk brigades and a romp of handclaps. The album concludes with a front porch style jubilee and jamband spontaneity.

To sum up Birdmonster, they are self-expressive and make jamming a way of life for themselves. The movements induce energy and sustain a momentum of shifting tempos that come off effortless. There is not a dull moment on the album.

-Susan Frances

1. Skeleton Suit
2. Balcony
3. 'Cause You Can
4. Alabama
5. Bar In The Back Of The Basement
6. No Midnight
7. Sparrow
8. Of Mice
9. What's With Your Brain
10. All The Holes In The Wall
11. Ice Age
12. Ball Of Yarn
13. Spaceman

Check out more reviews

Talk Back
e-mail the chief

Like this article?
e-mail it to a friend!


Mike Doughty

none now

South By Southwest 2014
David DeVoe

South By Southwest 2013
David DeVoe

Red Hook Music Festival
George Dow

SXSW 2012
David DeVoe

Our Favorite Records 2011
Hybrid Staff

Rachel Fredrickson

Rachel Fredrickson

Warped Tour 2011
Rachel Fredrickson

Eddie Spaghetti
Melissa Skrbic-Huss

Murder By Death
Mike DeLeo

Mike Doughty
Boulder, CO

Denver, CO

Imagine Dragons
Denver, CO

Cambridge, MA

Young Magic
Denver, CO

Warped Tour 2012
Denver, CO

Denver, CO

Mike Doughty
Denver, CO

Kansas City, MO

Other Lives
Lawrence, KS

Los Campesinos
Boston, MA

The Civil Wars
Lawrence, KS

Ha Ha Tonka
Lawrence, KS

Lawrence, KS

hybridmagazine.com is updated daily except when it isn't.
New film reviews are posted every week like faulty clockwork.
Wanna write for hybrid? Send us an e-mail.
© 1996-2009 [noun] digital media. All rights reserved worldwide. All content on hybridmagazine.com and levelheadedmusic.com is the intellectual property of Hybrid Magazine and its respective creators. No part of hybridmagazine.com or levelheadedmusic.com may be reproduced in any format without expressed written permission. For complete masthead and physical mailing address, Click Here.