A horrible hack

the Birds are Spies, They Report to the Trees

Single Series

Year Released: 2007
Format: CD
Label: ape must not kill ape
Reviewed by Samuel Fowler on Dec 14, 2009
I first checked out this band when I heard they featured members of Catena Collapse. Watertight logic here, the procession from one to the next is as sensible as putting pineapple on your pizza (i.e. quite). High with hope I remember putting the s/t 7" on and being utterly floored by the immense noises soaring right off my record player and straight into my disbelieving face. Bands should be restricted by royal decree from being this good... It was and remains one of my absolute favourite releases ever.

"The Birds are Spies- They Report to the Trees" also win the prize for the best band name I've heard. The image right? I can just imagine disparate clouds of grim owls and stoic obsidian black ravens perched on the rain soaked gutters amid the carved gargoyles prying into the affairs of men and reporting the disquietining tides back to the bleak twisted impossible trees. That's some pretty emo stuff going on right there.

So what about this little thing then? Did I set my hopes too high? Would it be a mere shadow of previous efforts? Hardly. You don't get to be this good and run the risk of going bad. Holy shitwheels. As soon as the opening strains kicked in, mother nature Herself hit the switch and rain poured straight out of those bleak clouds scudding overhead. My alarm kicks in, I drag my bleary eyed self from bed. My head aches, my arms are leaden, my eyes are clouded with sleep. I throw on some crumpled clothes and head out into the freezing greyness. I trudge on head bowed when a ray of light suddenly cuts through the monolithic glowering clouds. I look up and the light glances off my lidded eyes. I bask in the warm uplifting light. Right on.

This is cry-all-over-your-jersey music that somehow mixes cathartic bleakness with jagged shards of the best kind of optimism rising unexpectedly from the depths. It might not be as urgent as previous efforts, but the more mellow nature in no way detracts from a band not only taking exams ahead of their time, but scoring a distinction in "Being Fucking Rad" and a commendation in "Being Generally Better Than You". Gospel Truth.

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