Two Wounded Birds – Two Wounded Birds – album review

Two Wounded Birds: Two Wounded Birds (Holiday Friends Recording Company)
CD / LP / DL
Available 11 June 2012 

*Pls also see this review of Two Wounded Birds from these pages a month ago.

With surf guitar reverb and more than a hint of rock ‘n’ roll heat the debut album from Two Wounded Birds is an eclectic and compelling pop record.

”˜Cos I don’t care wherever we go yeah, I only wanna be with you’ – with a drum roll intro, surf harmonies, punk drums and a glorious jumping around feel, Two Wounded Birds burst into your life. ”˜Together Forever’ But then, as the song pounds to a dead stop the next is something else entirely. The guitars slow and the lights go down. The drummer switches to slow a gentle precise beat and the guitar is surf sixties twangy, here the singer proves, beyond a shadow of a doubt that he is on a par with Britain’s best. The vocals are timeless and effortlessly sad. The song swirls along with an organ coming in to finish it.

”˜To Be Young’ has a feel of optimism and built on the fantastic guitars that echo a line from Duane Eddy, through Hank Marvin, Dick Dale to Johnny Marr and beyond. ”˜We were young and hopeless’ the feelings of teenage hood, having the world in front of you and not having the first idea what to do with it. ”˜I’m trying to please you … cos baby it’s not up to you’ a more indie feel to the music and that voice combine. It’s the singing that brings the song to life. Then, and then, the keyboard player channels the spirit of a demented Killer Jerry Lee and leads the utter rock’n’roll pounder that is ”˜Daddy’s Junk’, two minutes and fifty seconds of euphoria..should really be a seven inch single with a creased up beer stained paper cover.

”˜The Night Patrol’ swirls and menaces under a fifties guitar sound. Johnny Danger has a voice like velvet as the undertone of darkness grows. ”˜The Last Supper’ surf tinged and flowing, no vocals and bringing out an epic western soundtrack feel, a sun drenched barren desert. ”˜If only We Remain’ has a fast feel underneath a slow languid vocal, ”˜Don’t Change’ sounds like a lovelorn plea to an old beau not to change as they move away. This feeling carries on with the utterly sad ”˜No Goodbyes’, very understated music and singing, gentle strumming and swirling Hammond sounds to finish.

This leads into the last two songs on the album, ”˜The Outer World’ not as breathtakingly sad but maudlin and blue, a feeling of regret not tears, the guitar sound lifting it up into the light in a protracted ending. The last song begins with delicate guitar notes and a bass note underneath. ”˜All aboard this ships going I’m knowing I must get old’ an acceptance of every teenagers greatest fear, growing old, growing up and becoming ”˜a man’. It echoes underneath with paranoia and seething. Then with a single dying note it finishes.

That’s when you press the button to play the whole thing again. It’s that good.

This is what happens when you listen to music now, everything sounds like everything else, you hear where things come from. This record feels like a long car journey with the radio on the best station ever, playing every good song from the fifties to now. It feels like standing on the beach at the edge of a seaside British town with the sound of the arcades and seagulls nicking chips next to you thinking about the sunshine shining down onto an impossibly glamorous L.A group of surfers. It’s steeped in American pop and rock’n’roll but with a very British outlook.

This is for the kids who grew up with the radio on, with their parents records as a background to their childhood and who danced and loved and cried their way through their youth.

Anyone who loves music will lose themselves in this outstanding eclectic utterly pop record.

All words by Adrian Bloxham. You can read more from Adrian on LTW here.

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  1. Thanks , I’ve just been searching for information about this topic for a while and yours is the best I’ve discovered so far. Eljo

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