Nonagon

They Birds

Written by: PP on 17/04/2021 04:57:03

Nonagon is a great example of a band with the heart in the right place, but with most other basic ingredients lacking in what is required in being in a band promoted out to the world. "They Birds" is their debut album, where the band channels their inner mid-90s punk rock ideals taking cues from early Jawbreaker material that's transitioned into a gravelly, more shouty version of the early 2000s interpretation of the genre. Think bands like Small Brown Bike, Goddamnit, and perhaps also Jawbox or Fugazi as the band themselves like to highlight.

Now, there's no denying their passion. The shouted, raspy vocals wear their two vocalists' hearts on their respective sleeves, however, how they are met with discordant, off-tune guitars and a lack of a red thread in most songs implies a fundamental misunderstanding of what made bands like Samiam or North Lincoln great in the genre: it's not just about the noise itself, it's about how the cacophony is used as an instrument in an overall beautiful soundscape of contrast between the ugly and the melodic. Here, that balance is broken for a variety of reasons, most of all the awful production that leaves the soundscape a complete mess, and I don't mean that positively as you might about, say, Jeff Rosenstock's expression. But also in terms of how the unmelodic vocals often misunderstand off-tune for passion, even though it's clear on the surface what the band was looking for here.

Underneath the surface "They Birds" has a lot of good ideas. It's just that the execution has failed miserably here. It has a lot of potential to be one of those sweaty basement style sing-along type of records, but what the fuck happened between the imagination of doing just that and the recording of "They Birds"?

3

Download: Tuck The Long Tail Under, Swing Goat
For the fans of: Small Brown Bike, Goddamnit, Jawbox
Listen: Facebook

Release date 03.03.2021
Controlled Burn Records

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