Wednesday, September 9, 2009

A Eureka That Definitely Doesn't Suck

EUREKA BIRDS – “Eureka Birds” CD ’08 (Private, US) – Bird houses. That’s what’s on the cover of this self-released CD by Baltimore’s EUREKA BIRDS. Bird houses on top of a couple tree branches, against a tan background. So, you see, I had no idea what to expect, except internet postings about post-post-rock (that’s a lot of posting!). What I found when I played this album, however was a familiar sense for melody & yet a breath of fresh air. And, while it’s probably a difficult mantle to lay around any band or artist’s neck, the first thing I think about when I listen to “Eureka Birds” is The Beatles. Yeah, really. And in the wake of all the media frenzy concerning the release of all the Fab Four’s re-masters and the Rock Band game, it’s nice to hear a band like this actually picking up the vibe and moving forward. That’s the thing that’s so exciting to me about these EUREKA BIRDS. They have gleaned the feel of the later moptop’s stuff like “Abbey Road” and still managed to infuse it with something new, something 2009 (doesn’t that just make me sound so “current” and all that?!). Listen to the opening track, “The Still Life.” Hard to remember the last time you heard a top-drawer pop hook sportin' Lewis & Clark-level exploration like this, eh? Say "Lennon & Mc Cartney". “Ten Words” reminded me of “Killer Queen” at first but with the addition of Caitlin Nethery’s vocals dancing with those of Justin Levy, the effect is something wholly different. “Oh! My Dear” is almost The Turtles “Happy Together” if it was played under a circus big-top. Almost. But then, it becomes EUREKA BIRDS. “Dinosaurs” has a more orchestral “Maxwell’s Silver Hammer” blend and closer “Applewood Figure” may be one of the most plaintive ballads these ears have heard in a long while. All told, I was in turn surprised and delighted by this utterly cool debut from yet another local artist, Baltimore’s own EUREKA BIRDS, and of course like the 51 year old teenager I am, I went toddling off to become a fan of them on Facebook. Seems you should too. Off To A Flying Start

NOTE: EUREKA BIRDS are playing The Ottobar in Baltimore on Oct 9, 2009.

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