A Lot Like Birds
Conversation Piece


2.0
poor

Review

by mrpurple USER (2 Reviews)
January 30th, 2012 | 32 replies


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Too much insanity, nothing really enjoyable was spawned.

A Lot Like Birds is not by any means a "poor" band. Quite the contrary, actually. The vocals both unclean and clean are brilliantly executed, and the musicianship is exceptional. So, now the question emerges why I labeled "Conversation Piece" as such. Because of a lack of new ground to cover in the long running genre "post hardcore", bands will do just about anything to get noticed and to sound original. Whether it be adding synthesizers, adding metal vocalists, or just sounding flat-out bizarre. Or in this band's case by adding complex time signatures, and adding agonizingly forced progressive rock elements. That being said, this album tries far too hard.

In my first listening of this record I got about halfway through the cd when I realized that I was incredibly bored and overwhelmed. The sound is very busy, between two vocalists, screeching progressive guitar riffs, nonsensical lyrics, and complex drumming I hardly had time to breathe. And through the constant chaos and INCREDIBLY overly ambitious song writing,(lyrically and conceptually) there is hardly any time for a good melody to take form or even a decent head-bangers breakdown. Kurt Travis and his beautiful voice don't get many chances to shine in this album because of the spastic mess being created at every turn. Now, to Cory Lockwood. His screams are maniacal and incredibly well done, but when does the time get made for a proper breakdown away from the never ending cacophony of the unhinged instrumentals? The answer is: very seldom.

The only songs in fact that were actually catchy and really popped out to me were "Orange Time Machines Care", "Think Dirty Out Loud", and hands down the coolest song on the album, "Tantrum". Orange Time Machines has a beautiful bridge that will have you singing along, and a perfect soundscape to accompany Kurt's voice. Dirty Out Loud has the most intensity and energy of "Conversation Piece", which gives Cory a chance to shine, and though the lyrics are a tad bit silly the job is certainly well established. Lastly, Tantrum pops out instantaneously with its gnarly guitar riff, with the perfect melody for Kurt to follow, and lowe and behold... A skull shattering breakdown emerges from out of nowhere and blows your hair back. The song had an element much different than the rest of this album, and the element I am referring to is simply good song writing. It keeps your attention with it's ominous and memorable riff,(literally the only memorable riff on the album) and it gives you something to groove to as it builds up to it's epic climax.

All in all the album fell short to me because it was too busy and there weren't enough distinct melodies, harmonies, or breakdowns, and too many areas were touched upon without them ever being well grounded. And while trying so damn hard to make something memorable, they actually did exactly the opposite by making something nearly impossible to listen to. But I have a glimmer of hope, for they are a great band... It is just a matter now for these prolific musicians to make something pleasant to the ears. Perhaps something a little less of a cosmic assault and more like a comforting massage.


user ratings (646)
Chart.
3.9
excellent
other reviews of this album
Mark A. (4.5)
Conversation Piece is the most creative and enjoyable post hardcore listen that has surfaced in quit...

Charlie (4)
Post-hardcore rockers A Lot Like Birds take an otherwise stagnating genre into new and exciting dire...

danielito19 (2.5)
A Lot Like Birds now sound like their name would imply they do....

Jacob Royal STAFF (4.5)
Conversation Piece serves as a definitive time capsule of the best that post-hardcore has had to off...

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Comments:Add a Comment 
Omaha
Staff Reviewer
January 29th 2012


10383 Comments

Album Rating: 3.7

Your review contains a lot of really good ideas, but I feel like you need to proof-read more; there are a lot of run-ons, incorrect song name spellings, etc.

Digging: Thou - Heathen

lucasjcockcroft
January 29th 2012


3714 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Sesame Street is no Place for Me rules

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
January 29th 2012


10383 Comments

Album Rating: 3.7

Properties of Friction is the best, and it isn't even mentioned here.

Gyromania
January 30th 2012


16089 Comments


Yeah, this isn't very good.

sspedding
January 30th 2012


4794 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

You try too hard. Chill out with the adjectives and try not to repeat yourself which you do a number of times here. Won't neg though because it isn't a bad place to start for your first review.

KrissWatts
January 30th 2012


96 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

The review is broken up too much with fullstops, you do make some great points though. Sounds like you'd really enjoy the album if it weren't so hectic.

Give it a few more listens, it's got to grow on you, it's a masterpiece!

Vyndax
January 30th 2012


128 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

This review could have been better.

ohfoxxxycole
January 30th 2012


4353 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

3.5

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
January 30th 2012


24098 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

pretty much agree with this review 100%

Digging: Mitski - bury me at makeout creek

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
January 30th 2012


24098 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

but it's kind of poorly written

VicariousIntent
January 30th 2012


1599 Comments


Like everyone else said, I recommend you proofread a little more before posting. Split up that giant second paragraph into a least two separate paragraphs, and work on your transitions a bit. Overall though, good ideas which I agree with, even though I like these guys.

Killerhit
January 30th 2012


5381 Comments


"Its kind of poorly written"

Kind of?

botb
January 30th 2012


9780 Comments


yeah this kind of rules

afergusonart
January 30th 2012


220 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

i enjoy it for the most part

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
January 30th 2012


10383 Comments

Album Rating: 3.7

Let's continue this trend of 4's, gentlemen, shall we?

mrpurple
January 31st 2012


2 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Thanks for the criticism everybody! I will definitely take your points and try to improve for the future. This is the first music review I have ever written so thank you for not being too harsh. I am also glad that somebody actually agrees with my view point, I had absolutely no idea what to expect when I submitted this.

Azn.
April 13th 2012


5618 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

Eh you did try to prove your opinion, so I'll give you that.

But you contradict yourself ridiculously hard.

Also, this album is amazing. lol. Like if you actually get down and listen carefully, you should find that this album is intricately put together and extremely well-executed. The dual-vocal attack is well done, the instruments are as technical and skillfully played as ever.

Also lol the lyrics are great. Lockwood/Kurt (both of them as a team) are genius lyricists and songwriters.

pepster50
April 9th 2013


335 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

the fact that you say this album doesn't have enough breakdowns is worth a neg right off the bat lol

Azn.
April 9th 2013


5618 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

"In my first listening of this record I got about halfway through the cd when I realized that I was incredibly bored and overwhelmed. The sound is very busy, between two vocalists, screeching progressive guitar riffs, nonsensical lyrics, and complex drumming I hardly had time to breathe."

well gee I'm fucking sorry that you're not intelligent enough to understand complex things

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
April 9th 2013


10383 Comments

Album Rating: 3.7

Too much going on ≠ complexity



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