Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Birdmonster @ Bottom of the Hill, 6/28/05

What do they sound like? I've been asking myself that since their EP landed on my desk and the song "Janine" took the express train into rotation. I can tell you what they don't sound like, and that's anyone else in the Bay Area today or at any time in the seven years I have lived here. There's some Pixies noise pop aspects -- for example the vocals go from ferocious scream to sweetly melodic within the same line -- but they don't sound like the Pixies. There's some rockabilly sound and sensibility, but they are not rockabilly.

When "Resurrection Song" was considered for and added to the playlist, the question of what Birdmonster sounds like came up again. The songs contain intricate rhythms and textured guitars, but this is not math-rock. The beats stutter and skip, but this is not Modest Mouse or glitch-hop. The off-center noise conjures Trail of Dead without the grandiosity. Even after pogoing to them live, I'm still asking the "what do they sound like?" question.

I can tell you that they are energetic and accomplished and intentionally shambolic. They playfully interact with one another and with the crowd. They are having fun and their infectious buzz spreads past the monitors and permeates the room. Speaking of the room, this was the most people I remember seeing at the Bottom of the Hill for an opening act on a Tuesday for an all-local bill.

All four Birdmonsters are adoreable, so much so that when frontman Peter Arcuni sings "I said I loved you...but I lied" the swooning females (and males, to be sure) in the crowd likely think, "Oh, he's so sweet and honest, I love him" instead of conjuring up ways to ruin his life. Honest. M'lady told me so.

She also told me she wants to put them all in her pocket. Back off, fellas: this one is mine.

No comments: