Birds & Wires
Amor Y Lucha
Birds & Wires is a very difficult band to write about. Not because they aren’t an amazing collection of intense, superb musicians, but because they are a bunch of dudes my age, spread over three cities that don’t play music together as much as other bands that are half as good as they are. Frankly it’s been a very very long time in Washington D.C. since a band has utterly blown me off my feet. Birds & Wires have done that. Their debut EP leaves me panting, thirsty like a begging dog for more.
For the first time in my life, I would say it is unfair not to compare Birds & Wires to Fugazi. There is so much of that intense energy and sharp dynamic in these four songs, that it seems almost unkind not to mention them in that same breath. But lets not be mistaken, Birds & Wires are not a hopeless bunch of failing copycats. No, they burst through with an energetic, thick post punk punch.
My boy John Seager, this is where I love him the most, when he flexes his musical skill. Yea Aghast and Lotus Fucker are fucking great, loud fast bands. But in Birds & Wires, Seager’s talents not just as a drummer, but a musician shine through. I’ve been waiting for this since the unappreciated A New Spelling of My Name LP.
Further still the production on this is sharp. Big ups to Hugh McElroy behind the nobs. It’s dirty enough that it has that Rites of Spring feel, the energy comes first for sure. But unlike all those near forgotten gems from DC punks history, this record sounds fantastic. Those clean guitars resonate, the bass rumbles your feet and the vocals aren’t buried in the mix. Joao Da Silva’s sing song bark is trademark type vocal delivery, and it is captures so crisp and clean. Not many DC bands have been this articulate, but the quality matters.
Four songs though? Fuck that’s just not enough. I know these boys are in their 30’s, managing personal lives outside music, but these are sounds worth the sacrifice. I don’t fault them for their decisions as people, but there is so much music out there that just isn’t as urgent or engaging as Birds & Wires. I am being greedy as fuck, but I want more from these four lads. DC needs more bands like this. Hopefully this EP will bring a resurgence. If your in a band consider this recording a challenge to step the fuck up. You’re on notice.
I saw Voyage in Coma this summer at an intimate show at St. Stephens Church. From the very first few bars of their very first song I knew that this was a band that was going to blow me over. I also knew that they had the best two guitar players in the city in one band. The interplay between Andy Freedman and Henry Mills was like watching Omar Rodriguez Lopez cloned into two. Seriously, watching this band was like when I saw At the Drive In when Vaya came out. It was fucking unbelievable. People should not be this good at music, especially in their early twenties. But they were and I got to see them.
So, naturally, when the internet told me they had an EP recorded I was desperate to get that shit. Luckily I ran into Henry at the des_ark show this Friday (where I met his dad, which is awesome. Seriously, how many people take their dads to punk rock shows? Not many. Henry Mills: Cooler than You) and procured a copy of their EP Cartography.
This shit is no joke. When dudes ten years younger than me can make music that takes me back ten years AND think of it in a good light, that’s fucking success. It must be said, the generation that Voyage In Coma is coming from is way smarter then my own generation. They are taking in such an extreme amount of music and turning out such incredible songs. But where most bands fail in being consistent, Voyage In Coma far exceeds any one’s expectations. In a world where so many half assed dicks are playing melodic rip off kids shit and singing about their precious selves, Voyage in Coma are made up of some virtuosos. People SHOULD be paying good money to check this band out. With four songs in twenty-one minutes, this band is doing some acrobatic shit. It never gets tired but more importantly it never gets overbearing and pretentious, which lets face it, virtuosity has a tendency to do.
Word is that Andy has left the band. Such is the impetuousness of youth I suppose. Who knows what drew him away from this band. Whatever it is, it’s a shame and I hope that Voyage in Coma can find someone else that fits the mold and carry on. They’ve taken a lot of risks, venture into a lot of familiar territory, but treated it with reverence rather then just imitating it. Of course they have the skill to pull it off. Lets hope the world gets to see more of it.