x
the_deli_magazine

Rate the Artist:


Please visit The Deli's full web charts organized by genre and region.


Go to Charts

Cancel

Album review: Bloodbirds - Psychic Surgery





Album review: Bloodbirds - Psychic Surgery

Bloodbirds’ latest release, Psychic Surgery, takes no prisoners as it roars across a hyperdistorted punk psychedelic landscape. At times, the album oozes with a raw and spastic energy similar to that of Nirvana’s Bleach. Other times, it meanders down swirling passages of thickly affected instrumentation. Either way, it is truly impressive how much pleasantly overbearing noise is conjured up by this three-piece group, consisting of Mike and Brooke Tuley (of Ad Astra Arkestra fame) and Anna St. Louis.
 
Driven by what seems like more guitars than Billy Corgan could count on both hands and feet, this album is fuzzy, buzzy, yet well executed. Underneath the torrent of distortion, the solid beat and bass combination of Tuley and St. Louis keeps things grounded and moving along, while paying close attention to not clash with the siren of guitars wailing above them. And although the material does get a tad formulaic at times, it is a damn solid formula: chaos noise incarnate loosely trapped within the parameters of pop structure.
 
“Bad Animal” sticks out for me. The intro fools the listener a bit with 26 seconds of Bob Seger-esque guitar noodling before launching into an all-out sonic blitz. Reminiscent of early Queens of the Stone Age, it is a furious four minutes of song, almost too saturated at times with antagonistically distorted guitars, but nicely counterpointed by the stripped-down, daydream verses. Being one of the more straightforward and less meandering efforts on the album, it packs a blow worth noting.
 
“Patterned Sky” prominently features restful female vocals and flexes the psychedelic and dreamy muscles that Bloodbirds has to offer. The main guitar finds itself clean, verbed to almost surf rock in a way. This track gets in and out pretty quick and provides a nice breather to the otherwise resonant assault.
 
Perhaps some of the album’s most interesting guitar work is featured on its title track. All too often guitarists in this genre can get inane or annoying when trying to fill time with random effect noise. Tuley avoids that pitfall in “Psychic Surgery,” putting together a solid and dynamic performance. With what I assume is at least a handful of effects, he coaxes his guitar through a variety of emotions in a nice compact instrumental section. From wailing to pouting to singing to just random robotic musings, it is clear that Tuley is very aware, in control, and discreet with this performance.
 
The album ends with a bombardment of riffs called “Time Battle.” This song screams like someone beating the shit out of a banshee. It may just be the perfect summation of the rest of the record. There is just enough breath to the verses to make you think you might have some chance of keeping your eardrums intact, but all hope of avoiding the dreaded rrrriiiinnnggg in your ears while trying to fall asleep at night is lost once the vocals give way to the cavalcade of searing guitars. It is a fierce bitch slap to the face, the perfect way to finish off the sonically engorged LP.
 
All in all, Psychic Surgery will make your audiologist incredibly pissed at you. Bloodbirds do not hold anything back. There is no mute button left on any track in the final mix. If their live show is anything as powerful as this record is, I would suggest earplugs inside earmuffs inside an old deep sea diver’s helmet for protection. Or chance it. Bloodbirds would be a wonderful thing to go deaf to.

Bloodbirds was recently selected to play Ink’s Middle of the Map Fest, which is curated by The Record Machine and runs from Thursday, April 4 to Saturday, April 6. Details on schedules and venues will be forthcoming.

--Zach Hodson

Zach Hodson is a monster. He once stole a grilled cheese sandwich from a 4-year-old girl at her birthday party. He will only juggle if you pay him. I hear he punched Slimer right in his fat, green face. He knows the secrets to free energy, but refuses to release them until "Saved by the Bell: Fortysomethings" begins production.

He is also in Dolls on Fire and Drew Black & Dirty Electric, as well as contributing to various other Kansas City-based music, comedy, and art projects.

Free Counters

This Emerging Artist is based in SF Bay Area,
check out other talented locals we picked
for our SF Bay Area Artist of the Month poll below!

       
Which of these emerging local acts should be The Deli SF's next Artist of the Month?
Total: 58 votes
  Jakob Battick 
  Oona Ruin 
  Pardoner 
  Pendant 

This poll will end on November 30, 2019 at 11.59 PM ET

Please stay positive with the comments, support for other bands is one of the secrets of "success."

Results as of November 22, 2019, 7:17 am

sponsored by::
 

 

 

SF Bay Area New Bands With Buzz

- news for musician and music pros -

Loading...