I was lucky enough to catch these guys the last time they were in the US, with The Chariot on their farewell tour, and they quickly have become one of my favorite bands. They are intense, passionate, honest, and have yet to disappoint with any of their releases. You, Me & The Violence is no exception.
Birds in Row are from France but regularly tour out of country, and sometimes cross continental lines. Their incredible live performance is what drew them to me, not to mention their guitarist’s gorgeous Rickenbacker, but the emotion and musicianship laced in their recordings is what has kept their discography in my regular rotation.
You, Me & the Violence opens fast and heavy with a squeal of the Rick’ and an unprompted yell from vocalist/guitarist, Bart Hirigoyen. Their take on hardcore surely wets the cheeks of some purists, but their melodic approach to a gritty, noisy sound that verges on innovative is what makes them such a special band. The third track, “Cages,” embodies this — and the entire album — for me.
They are pretty much turned to 11 until “Last Last Chance,” the interlude track featuring Hirigoyen, playing solo with a melancholy riff and vocals that highlight his range as an artist and performer. This beautiful tune flows perfectly into the albums’ title track, and they continue on their sonic-demolishing crusade from there, albeit with a slightly different, more dynamic approach.
The rhythm section is featured on “Cold War Everyday,” with Timothee Duchesne (drums) cutting the time signature up a bit, and Thomas Dilis (bass) coming in with an entrancingly dirty riff to back Bart up. Dilis is masterful at filling out the album and complimenting the other two in the band.
As with most of the albums I write about, this band sure knows how to end a record. “Police and Thieves” is a nerve-wrenching barn-burner that will have your stomach resting tensely in your chest until the climaxing tune resolves into the morose conclusion to You, Me & the Violence, “Lovers Have Their Say.” It’s a powerful, long winded mash-up of slow tempo, clean riffs — and hard hitting sludge paired with throat-ruining vocals. The album is perfect, and moves me every time I put it on.
Having recently wrapped up a tour in Japan, Birds in Row are preparing for a Eurpoean trek next month, and are releasing a new EP on October 30th, entitled Personal War. I for one can’t wait for my pre-order to arrive.