There comes a time in the evolution of music, no matter how devoutly or insincerely one follows a sound, that we must demand more from the music. The status quo, the songs about how sexy my hips shake, the wholesome sounds of pretty boys, or the repetition of a genre must be tested or we’ll all become complacent.
If you’re reading this, chances are you’re in agreement.
Now, all of that is going to be tested via the Bay Area’s The Bye Bye Blackbirds; specifically, perhaps aptly, their latest release Take Out The Poison.
Garnering a sound of bygone decades sifted through the trial and tribulations of the 90s, The Bye Bye Blackbirds harness a sound that is, simply put, visionary. To understand what is achieved in Take Out The Poison, I must first request you read the following in its entirety.
Still with me? Good.
The hokeyness of Rex Manning draws images of flashy hip-swagger and oldies. Spin that with Kenny Loggin’s hair circa the early 1980s, you know, the ferocious beard with all the simple licks you could possibly throw at Kevin Bacon, and you begin to get the foundation of Take Out The Poison (See: “Earl Grey Kisses,” “Duet,” and “Poison Love”).
Now, toss in the bounciness of early Gin Blossoms and deep-cut Spin Doctors, and The Bye Bye Blackbirds begin to take shape (See: “Let Your Hair Fall Down” and “Baby We’re Fine”).
All of the associations aside, as they’re simply used as a point of reference, beyond these we can see there is a lot to The Bye Bye Blackbirds that is genuinely great. Vocal composures offer a power pop balance atop well thought out, tight, collections from track to track. The balance struck with their latest release, across all eleven songs, is as familiar, yet oh so new, as it is fun. The songs become a musical incarnation of Leonardo DiCaprio strutting down the street with an uncaring grin on his face. They’re purposeful, respectable, impactful, but honest and freeing all at the same time. The Bye Bye Blackbirds, through Take Out The Poison, both demand and deliver a better music. The better music we’re beginning to see we need in this world.
Greg is a co-founder and regular contributor of Nanobot Rock.