This is a review of "Untitled" recorded by The Birdman Rallies. The review was written by Steve Elvidge in 2009.
A six-track mini LP by a Harrogate based band and a very pleasant surprise.
The first few notes of opener 'Those Amazing Persians' took me instantly back to the late 70s, with post-punk plucking then five minutes into the future with harmonies and wordplay like the Fleet Foxes have learnt a new trick or two. 'Archipelago' and 'Lapis Lazuli' aren't lyrics I'd normally expect to enjoy outside of a prog-fest, but here they are transporting us to Mesopotamia until the mariachi horns drag us off to an underground Mexican rock club.
Next, 'Creative Dance' kicks in with a bass line that The Flaming Lips must be kicking themselves for missing off the last album (it's that good) before another beautifully worked verse and chorus come in, which are both familiar and refreshing.
'Box Called Miscellaneous' is, for me, one of the few missteps on the CD, it's over reliant on the repetition of a chorus that just doesn't scan well. 'Miscellaneous' just doesn't trip off the tongue well enough to warrant hearing it twelve-plus times and, in contrast to the rest of the songs, the arrangement is clumsy.
If you like The Kinks' 'Village Green Preservation' LP, then you'd love 'Lost In The Hubbub' and its English-abroad preoccupations. Danny Webster, the singer and I'd guess songwriter, does an uncanny Ray Davies impression.
And so it goes, with post-punk invention meeting modern indie edge until closer 'You & I,' where the band try perhaps a little hard to capture that Fleet Foxes' zeitgeist.
Remarkably accomplished, both in writing and arrangements, and very well produced for the first taste of an indie label (it's available form Da-Gate.com) Go get it.