BIRD NAMES – “OPEN RELATIONSHIP” (UNSOUND, 2009)

So, the official commodifaction of what used be known as Indie Rock happened right under my nose. As pop punk and mall-core bowed out of the pre pubescent arena, the jocks that wore Saves the Day T shirts and listened to Taking Back Sunday took off their sweatbands and donned expensive jeans and collared shirts. They got in touch with their emotions, broke up with their girl friends and started listening to “real music”. They ate up Ben Gibbard’s pithy non sequiters like communion, pretended to like Bob Dylan, complained Coldplay “sold out” and generally talked about how cool “indie rock” is. Pardon my dangling modifier, how cool indie rock was. It was the day the music died. But with an endless supply of options of bands that all sound the same where was one to turn to be cool? With all the merchandise in the front window where are all the supplies? Answer: Even music that was once inaccessible is being commodified by a music industry ready to unload it’s products. Now, even the trendy “lo-fi revolution”, despite itself , is flowing into this era of demand side economics. With bands like No Age showing up in commercials, and Wavves getting major downloads on itunes, unlistenability is the new chic. 
 
Fortunately there are bands like Chicago’s Bird Names. Bird Names is the opposite side of the coin from the Velvet Underground too cool to care posturing of their Lo-fi counterparts, Bird Names just want to make love and make babies. The recording is not a gimmick, tape hiss is barely a factor. What you do hear is happy sing alongs, catchy gang shouted choruses, swirling multi instrumental that push and pull and procreate just under the surface. There is just so much going on this album that the giddiness just blasts out of the speakers. Psychedelic song cycles and campfire folk sing alongs are barely held together by a cohesive partnership of love and getting down. Pick this up before neo-psychedelic folk becomes a generally used adjective at hot topic.
 
Ryan H.

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