Tweak Bird – s/t

Tweak Bird - s/t

Last summer I saw Tweak Bird open for Big Business. I love both bands, but was really excited to see the Bird brothers play. Not only did their show give me goose bumps (a great indication of something phenomenal), they totally blew Big Business away. It’s not often I can say that about an opening band. Their 2008 debut EP Reservations is mind-boggling, but I had skeptical friends who were on the fence about liking vs. disliking Tweak Bird. This show made them fans.

But you aren’t here to read about a concert, you want to know about Caleb (guitar) and Ashton (drums) Bird aka Tweak Bird and their new self-titled full-length release. There’s really two things you absolutely need to know about their music: it’s bone-crushingly heavy and it has an uncanny sense of melody. Caleb plays a baritone guitar that gives the duo its thick deep end, while Ashton attacks the drums like a man possessed. Only one other drummer – Ed Livengood of Jucifer – has as much presence as Ashton. Although Tweak Bird’s wall of sound isn’t as face melting as Jucifer, they have hit on a sound that no one else comes close to matching.

Because the sound is unique, it’s hard to adequately describe the album. The guys take prog, give it a psychedelic edge, and tumble dry with scorched desert air. I hate to see the Birds labeled as stoner rock because I think that’s an oversimplification to the Nth degree. Songs like “Lights in Lines” and “The Future” are definitely fuzzed out, down-tuned, and heavy, but it’s that melodic sense that keeps cropping up. There’s almost an eerie feeling that Caleb and Ashton could have secret careers writing bona fide pop music. The arrangements are impeccable and the unusual vocals (often quite high pitched) all gel into this wonderful, spine tingling mixture of happiness. And that’s something Tweak Bird, unlike many of their equally heavy counterparts, seems firmly rooted in. Their songs have an overall happy vibe – like they love music as much as they love life. Perhaps that’s what makes this duo so attractive to those who have the pleasure of experiencing their sound.

The musical experimentation reaches even farther on Tweak Bird than it did on Reservations. “Distant Airways” and “A Sun/Ahh Ahh” incorporate some smoky, jazzy saxophone while “Round Trippin'” plays with some electronics. I don’t want to give it all away though, because each of the ten tracks here is bursting with perfect moments. There are plenty of avenues available to experience a Tweak Bird song easily and for free, and these are something you should take advantage of if you still need a little convincing. Tweak Bird – the band and the album – will mesmerize you. Seeing them live will make you a fan in seconds flat.

Volcom Entertainment