With a sorrowful crash and whimsical moments of clarity, French melodic hardcore trio Birds in Row come out of the shadows held aloft by their small nimble fan base and short collection of EPs to present themselves to the world with their first full length, ‘You, Me, & the Violence’, an integral snapshot of socio-personified struggle.
The concept of this record is a simple one to understand but it’s sheer poetic delivery is one that crawls underneath your skin and latches onto the cells of your very soul and electrical currents that turns the cogs of your brain. Personal and societal problems are rolled into one which presents a co-existence that aids the listener in self-awareness and self-acceptance. For instance, ‘Walter Freeman’ sees a tale of a man facing an oxymoron of crossroads; a desperate cry for help from an individual who wants to die to escape from the woes of life but wants to survive a brush with death. This downward spiral extends into the awareness and problem pondering topics found in the likes of ‘The Illusionist’ and ‘Police & Thieves’ which identifies a constant struggle to not fall prey to societal expectations of one’s character and break from an ever waning and soul crushing cycle.
Underlining the desperate themed nature is a mix of blood curdled panicked screams and sludgy bass lines which are lifted with the strength of awe striking melancholic melodic grandeur as represented by ‘Pilori’ and ‘Cages’, the frantic aftermath of which plays on the imagination. This imagination eventually succumbs to the eerie atmospheric mist of ‘Last Lost Chance’, a standstill intervention of dreary silent reflection. This calm dissonant pause soon morphs back by a curse bound will into the fitting rage, emotions which are now inventively translated with innovative musical patterns. For example, ‘Cold War Everyday’ is led by a commanding drum beat and loud frustrated yell as though it is a call to arms for the disenfranchised. The pinnacle of this is displayed by album closer ‘Lovers Have Their Say’, a 12 minute epitome of the dire nature of the record. It unfurls a haunting masked fog that is both chilling and thought provoking leaving the listener to feel lost at what to do next.
Overall, Birds in Row have managed to master a terrific formula for the definition of a strong debut from a melodic hardcore band such as themselves, where so many with a similar sound fail to reach and an ear catching epitaph. Whatever follows on from ‘You, Me, & the Violence’ will be nothing short of grand scale of rage empowered despair.
‘You, Me, & the Violence’ by Birds In Row is available now on Deathwish Inc.
Words by Aaron Lohan (@ooran_loohan)