September 4, 2009

Mod-A-Day: Birdland

Snarl. Growl. Sneer. That pretty much sums up the sound, and the poseur image, of late 80s, bleached blond, British garage rockers Birdland. There's not much to know about the band besides that they had a very short tenure and were plagued with problems behind the scenes with their management and label. Oh, and they attacked every single song with an absolutely unbending and blistering guitar assault.

In 1989 their unbridled, untouched, pure garage sound burst onto the music scene in two Peel Sessions as proven by the song featured here, "Paradise". The band was paraded across the cover of numerous music rags, and they were seen as the up and coming, next big thing ... that wasn't from Seattle or called grunge.

Their self-titled 1991 debut was a miracle of production, giving the songs a sheen of polish that maybe they thought was necessary for radio play. Even that didn't cover up raw intensity, the rough edges, the jagged hole you got in your ear from listening to short sharp songs like "Shoot You Down", the melodic punk of "Hollow Heart", the smooth psychadelia of "Sleep with Me", and the methodically drum driven cover of Patti Smith's "Rock'n'Roll Nigger". By 1993 the band was history having laid the foundations for later bands like The Hives and The Strokes and yet never done more than just tease the tip of the top 40 of the UK charts.

Birdland -- Paradise

Birdland - Hollow Heart