Review Summary: "March Fires" see's the Bird's leaving their "rockier" side for a more quaint and pop focused one, yet still retaining a sense of potency and beauty throughout.
2013 is proving to be quite a big year for Ian Kenny, lead vocalist of "Birds Of Tokyo" and his progressive-rock oriented band "Karnivool". With both bands scheduled for an album release this year, all eyes point to see whether or not Ian Kenny and co. can live up to the expectations given to them. This brings us to the Birds' fourth studio album "March Fires”.
The album title itself gives a hint at the style of music which can be found here, apart from the album being released at the beginning of March; the album consists of elevating keyboard work from Glenn Sarangapany, rapid climaxes that include the combining of heavy hard hitting beats and yet beautiful riffs from both guitarist Adam Spark and drummer Adam Weston, as well as gang-vocals to give off a unifying and uplifting message. From the basic and subtle intro of “Liquid Arms” to the chaotic peak in “White Leaves”, it’s almost impossible to not feel some sort of emotion when listening to this record. The tracks flow seamlessly well together from the work of sampled keys and interludes to give off a fiery energy in the tracks and an all-around powerful payoff for most songs found here. The best example of this would be the song “When the Night Falls Quiet”, this track sums up the album perfectly with its chanted and rocky chorus to its more laid back and simplistic verse, and by blending both of these mechanics it creates a far more immersed and emotional impact on the listener.
This “simple, but powerful” mind-set found within the music can be both a positive and a negative depending on the type of listener that embarks upon this journey. If you find yourself to be someone who can play an album and sink into the music easily then you will love it, however if you demand action instantly then you may find this to be repetitive and boring throughout most tracks. This is the main issue that seems to plague this album, especially during its final moments. Tracks such as; “This Fire” and “Sirin” showcase this with their uninteresting structure and bland lyricism. The “You’re not an animal” and “This fire, we let it all burn” chants endure for far too long than is necessary and left me with a face of disappointment considering the sheer large amount of quality that the rest of the tracks contain. The Bird’s decide to end the album with “Hounds” a more softer track that finishes the album on a slower pace than the tracks preceding it, this may be a disappointment for some but personally I feel that the whole idea of “ending on a bang” has started to become quite cliché in rock music today and so this closer gives the listener a chance to reflect on the journey they have embarked on.
To conclude, “Birds Of Tokyo” have created a “feel good” record that mainly consists of varying amount of emotion and soul by being simplistic yet potent, though it is disappointing that some tracks on here drag on for far too long and some of them are already on previous releases, but nevertheless this is a record that will spark a fire within you.
When the Night Falls Quiet