Tweak Bird – Reservations

Tweak Bird

It’s hard not to miss the two half naked men, two naked babies, and two other young (and naked) children on the cover of Tweak Bird’s Reservations. Harder still, is getting this duo’s music out of your head once you’ve heard it. Although the pair’s unexpected vocal styles might throw you for a loop initially, everything here works exceedingly well. In fact, with perhaps one minor exception which completely depends on your point of view, the brothers Bird – Caleb and Ashton – have created such a stunning album that I’ve been wholly unable to go more than eight hours in a given day before returning to one of their tracks.

The driving intro to “Shivers” consumes me to the point that I’m telling everyone I think might care (and plenty that don’t) about this song. That virginal thrill of hearing a new song that just hits you in all the right ways is so rare, how can you not want to share it? The guitar is a lovely, fuzzy mess that effortlessly dominates the sweaty punctuation from the drums, but for some reason it’s the brothers’ vocals that seal the deal. On first listen I went and looked through the liner notes for some evidence that there was a woman in this group due to the generally high-pitch of the voices.

The minute and a half “God Help Us” is equally as hard-hitting as its predecessor, but there is more of an ebb and flow to the music. Tweak Bird’s penchant for quick doses of psychedelic rock shows its face here – whether the trip is good or bad definitely depends on your frame of mind. I’m not sure where my head lands on this chart, but I find myself greedily skipping ahead to the next track more often than not. “Whorses”, a song about outer space and Indians, ushers in an expansive headspace that nearly bursts at the seams. The barely audible interlude “Reservations” arrives at just the right (or wrong) time. The light ambient sounds will either prove the perfect solace from the mind fuck of the previous tracks, or it will make you a bit paranoid by the overall lack of hammering sounds.

The final half of Reservations strikes me as the plateau of this hearty introduction to Tweak Bird. All three songs – “Spaceships”, “Favorite Sun”, and “Eternal Squaredance” – melt into a sludge that you may just lose yourself in. The final track is my favorite of the trio, largely because when it ends I find myself wondering how I managed to lose an hour when Reservations is less than a 20 minute experience overall. Funny how time works sometimes, huh?

Big Business’ Here Come the Waterworks could have been quite similar to Reservations if that duo had taken peyote or ayahuasca and disappeared into the desert to write songs. Both bands have enough similarities that I’d love to see them tour together – and with both duos having a Melvins connection anything is possible, right?

Regardless, Tweak Bird’s Reservations is simply one of the most exciting things I’ve heard in a long time. I still get a thrill from great music, but stumbling on something this phenomenal makes me feel young(er) again. Heavy music fans should take note as the earth shaking on Reservations is likely just the right combination of experimental, droning, fuzzed out, or progressive to suit many tastes.