CD Name: 
Psychic Surgery
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<div style="line-height: 20px;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; line-height: 20px;"><a href="">Bloodbirds&rsquo;</a>&nbsp;latest release,&nbsp;<i>Psychic Surgery</i>, takes no prisoners as it roars across a hyperdistorted punk psychedelic landscape. At times, the album oozes with a raw and spastic energy similar to that of Nirvana&rsquo;s&nbsp;<i>Bleach.&nbsp;</i>Other times, it meanders down swirling passages of thickly affected instrumentation. Either way, it is truly impressive how much pleasantly overbearing noise is conjured up by this three-piece group, consisting of Mike and Brooke Tuley (of&nbsp;<a href="">Ad Astra Arkestra</a>&nbsp;fame) and Anna St. Louis.</span></div> <div style="line-height: 20px;">&nbsp;</div> <div style="line-height: 20px;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; line-height: 20px;">Driven by what seems like more guitars than Billy Corgan could count on both hands and feet, this album is fuzzy, buzzy, yet well executed. Underneath the torrent of distortion, the solid beat and bass combination of Tuley and St. Louis keeps things grounded and moving along, while paying close attention to not clash with the siren of guitars wailing above them. And although the material does get a tad formulaic at times, it is a damn solid formula: chaos noise incarnate loosely trapped within the parameters of pop structure.</span></div> <div style="line-height: 20px;">&nbsp;</div> <div style="line-height: 20px;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; line-height: 20px;">&ldquo;Bad Animal&rdquo; sticks out for me. The intro fools the listener a bit with 26 seconds of Bob Seger-esque guitar noodling before launching into an all-out sonic blitz. Reminiscent of early Queens of the Stone Age, it is a furious four minutes of song, almost too saturated at times with antagonistically distorted guitars, but nicely counterpointed by the stripped-down, daydream verses. Being one of the more straightforward and less meandering efforts on the album, it packs a blow worth noting.</span></div> <div style="line-height: 20px;">&nbsp;</div> <div style="line-height: 20px;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; line-height: 20px;">&ldquo;Patterned Sky&rdquo; prominently features restful female vocals and flexes the psychedelic and dreamy muscles that Bloodbirds has to offer. The main guitar finds itself clean, verbed to almost surf rock in a way. This track gets in and out pretty quick and provides a nice breather to the otherwise resonant assault.</span></div> <div style="line-height: 20px;">&nbsp;</div> <div style="line-height: 20px;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; line-height: 20px;">Perhaps some of the album&rsquo;s most interesting guitar work is featured on its title track. All too often guitarists in this genre can get inane or annoying when trying to fill time with random effect noise. Tuley avoids that pitfall in &ldquo;Psychic Surgery,&rdquo; putting together a solid and dynamic performance. With what I assume is at least a handful of effects, he coaxes his guitar through a variety of emotions in a nice compact instrumental section. From wailing to pouting to singing to just random robotic musings, it is clear that Tuley is very aware, in control, and discreet with this performance.</span></div> <div style="line-height: 20px;">&nbsp;</div> <div style="line-height: 20px;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; line-height: 20px;">The album ends with a bombardment of riffs called &ldquo;Time Battle.&rdquo; This song screams like someone beating the shit out of a banshee. It may just be the perfect summation of the rest of the record. There is just enough breath to the verses to make you think you might have some chance of keeping your eardrums intact, but all hope of avoiding the dreaded&nbsp;<i>rrrriiiinnnggg</i>&nbsp;in your ears while trying to fall asleep at night is lost once the vocals give way to the cavalcade of searing guitars. It is a fierce bitch slap to the face, the perfect way to finish off the sonically engorged LP.</span></div> <div style="line-height: 20px;">&nbsp;</div> <p><span style="line-height: 20px;">All in all,</span><span style="line-height: 20px;">&nbsp;</span><i>Psychic Surgery</i><span style="line-height: 20px;">&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 20px;">will make your audiologist incredibly pissed at you. Bloodbirds do not hold anything back. There is no mute button left on any track in the final mix. If their live show is anything as powerful as this record is, I would suggest earplugs inside earmuffs inside an old deep sea diver&rsquo;s helmet for protection. Or chance it. Bloodbirds would be a wonderful thing to go deaf to.</span></p> <p><em>--Zach Hodson</em>&nbsp;</p>