Birdwatchers of America – There Have Been Sightings

Birdwatchers of America - There Have Been Sightings

Birdwatchers of America - There Have Been Sightings

Apparently this Boston band take their name seriously as between the song tracks on their debut LP There Have Been Sightings are sound bites concerning the thought-to-be-extinct Ivory-billed Woodpecker, turning this LP into a thirty-nine minute, 7-song EP.

Formed from the leftovers of two dissolved Boston bands, Permafrost and The Red Telephone, Birdwatchers of America play a pleasing brand of smooth, adult alternative rock with a roots-rock vibe and peppered with alt-country flourishes.

The songs are well written with crisp chord changes, warm keyboard textures and smooth bass lines. A bit of color is added with mandolin, glockenspiel, an occasional playful organ solo or slick electric guitar lead and even some pedal steel. The singing tends to blend in with the music as it is neither dynamic nor is it disagreeable, just plain and steady.

While there is nothing unpalatable on There Have Been Sightings, and the birdwatching sound bites are somewhat intriguing, there is also some intangible ingredient missing from the music. The rich harmonies and sharp production show a few fleeting instances of distinction but mostly the band tend to echo their influences rather than use them to develop their music into something new. The amiable melodies tend to wallow within the comfort zone of gentle power pop while never being quite catchy enough to be memorable, but are sunny and warm nonetheless.

Bird Watchers of America