Review Summary: Ridiculous sludgy grind.
Sludgegrind? Slind? Grudge? God, I hope not. Whatever kind of music the genre police decide Bird Eater
play, it's heavy, bleak and pissed off as hell. Bird Eater
's debut EP Utah
is a cynical tribute to the home state of the five piece, featuring ex and current members from bands Day of Less
, Pilot this Plane
and most notably Gaza
, the latter being most notable not only because they are easily the most well known and have contributed three of the band's members, but because... well, if you listened to this album you could be forgiven for thinking it WAS Gaza
Trite buzz words like "ridiculous" get thrown around far too often when talking about heavy music, but there's really no other word for Bird Eater
's style. With technicality that is clear and interesting but never obnoxious, the band constantly intertwine abrasive dissonance and obliterating heaviness. Obscene guitar licks jeer at the listener, the unrelenting drums constantly fit in rapid fills while psychotic screams, yells and growls cascade past the instruments. Bird Eater
is definitely not for the faint of heart.
One thing that might strike a first time listener as odd is the amount of "interludes" in the EP; the entirety of United Steel Apocalypse (USA)
, Blood Groove
and a section in It Takes Days to Boil the Bones
are compromised of subdued, clean guitars reciting lonely, echoing notes. Some might question the necessity of this sort of a thing on an EP that barely passes the twenty minute mark, but these mellower moments are as much a part of Bird Eater
's music as the frantic, heavy parts. If the rest of the music is the hunt, then these parts are the quiet contemplation and feast around the campfire.
's sound also has a distinctly southern vibe to it, whether it be the atmospheric horse whinnying and vulture cries, the sheer amount of good old fashioned groove implicit beneath all the insanity, or the fact that all of the aforementioned mellower parts sound like they were lifted directly out of classic westerns, Bird Eater definitely have a commendable southern influence. Even the spectacular riff that explodes almost out of nowhere at the end of The Crying Witch (La Llorona)
sounds like it might have been played by the likes of Every Time I Die
or Maylene and the Sons of Disaster
, except for the fact that it sounds infinitely more badass.
Overall, I thoroughly recommend Bird Eater
, though my only real complaints with Utah
are that obviously as an EP it leaves a fair amount to be desired lengthwise, and as alluded to earlier in the review the band feels uncomfortably similar to Gaza