A Lot Like Birds
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A Lot Like Birds

Sacramento, California, United States | INDIE

Sacramento, California, United States | INDIE
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Former Dance Gavin Dance vocalist Kurt Travis has announced that he's now a member of Sacramento progressive post-hardcore outfit A Lot Like Birds. The six-piece already have a full-length to their name called Plan B, which showcases a wide variety of instrumentation including strings, horns and guest vocalists). The band promises a new song featuring Travis on vocals soon.

Travis was brought into Dance Gavin Dance in 2007 after the firing of original singer Jonny Craig, but the band announced that Craig was back in and Travis was out this past August. - Alternative Press Magazine


Former Dance Gavin Dance vocalist Kurt Travis has announced that he's now a member of Sacramento progressive post-hardcore outfit A Lot Like Birds. The six-piece already have a full-length to their name called Plan B, which showcases a wide variety of instrumentation including strings, horns and guest vocalists). The band promises a new song featuring Travis on vocals soon.

Travis was brought into Dance Gavin Dance in 2007 after the firing of original singer Jonny Craig, but the band announced that Craig was back in and Travis was out this past August. - Alternative Press Magazine


Chances are you've not heard of A Lot Like Birds. Chances are you will sample some of their music after reading this review and ask yourself why you haven't heard of them before. This 7-piece experimental/progressive outfit hails from Sacramento, California, and their music has the supernatural ability to decompose the epidermis on first listen; fester the dermis on second listen; and, yes, as you may have guessed, generate brand new, super-fortified skin upon third listen. (Oddly enough it has no effect on subcutaneous tissue). With a band consisting of seven members, almost all from incongruous musical backgrounds, a more disparate group of musicians may only be found if George Lucas awesomes-up (yes, even more) and decides that said group is what Indiana Jones most covets in his next installment of the hit movie series. If you were to open up a book and find one chapter to be about the integumentary system of the human body, and the next about George Lucas, you'd say to yourself: "This book is fucking quirky; yet awesome." This is what you get when you dabble into the album that is Plan B (2009).

If the overwhelming majority of albums that are released each year are 8 ounce steaks, Plan B is 12 ounces worth of Alligator sausage links. For each link their music is careful, there is one link carefree; for each link their music is conventional, there is one link unconventional. So exactly what kind of music can we expect this machine to produce when its engineers reportedly come from musical backgrounds such as classical violin, post-hardcore, and folk-rock? The answer is just as complicated as you'd have guessed. When slapped with the "experimental" label, as A Lot Like Birds has been, bands must to live up to that title, which is often accomplished by incorporating many different vocal and musical styles.

On Plan B the listener will be bombarded with vocals straight out of the screamo, "rock", and hardcore genres, somber voices lurking in the back of tracks used strictly for texture, and last, but definitely not least, female vocals. While the array of vocals found here is impressive, the least that can be said of the musicianship is that it is sensational. There are more genres and styles found within A Lot Like Birds's music than I care to list (OK, what the hell, expect some post-hardcore, progressive, metal, screamo, and pop/punk). Musicianship is priority number one here; and the music is crushingly heavy, sporadic, wiry, mathematical, and fast. The spotlight belongs to the guitarists, as they churn out fast and heavy, slow and hypnotic, complicated riffs and chord progressions. The rhythm section is also of an impressive quality. But these qualities are only the sharp, jagged teeth that fill the mouth of the animal that is A Lot Like Birds, they are not the secret weapon that you'll not see coming before you drift out of consciousness for the last time; no, the poison embedded into those teeth: they incorporate some saxophone, trombone and trumpet into the album. Who doesn't love it when a rock band throws in some brass?

A Lot Like Birds have created a(n) (insert random number here)-headed monster with their debut effort. This is not for everyone, to be sure, and it will make that apparent within each second of each song. For those who this album calls to, it will be, musically, one of the more memorable experiences of recent years. If you find that you don't like the music that the band calls their own, you can always tune-in to the end of the album for a unique take on Third Eye Blind's "Losing A Whole Year". If there's one thing we can take away from this album after listening to it, aside from a mind invaded by its intoxicating guitar playing or deafening vocals, it is excitement for what is to come from this band. With the band reportedly entering the studio sometime this year to record their follow up to Plan B, listeners will desperately await the end-product, as some of us still need to be knocked right-side up again after what Plan B kindly did to us. If anything you've read here has gotten your mouth watering, I'll leave you with this: yes, they are real and they are out there. - We Rate Stuff


"8. A Lot Like Birds / Plan B

The question isn’t “Who?”. Instead it’s “How?”. The arrangements and journeys through genres and influences on Plan B are utterly indescribable. The Sacramento, California, band are like a Baskin Robbins ice cream parlour who want you to try every musical taste known to man. Not only do they flirt with screamo, pop punk and experimental rock but they polish it off with spine-shattering anthems and brain-melting instrumental rides off into nowhere. Want proof? Check out “Hallows Or Horcruxes?”."


http://blaremagazine.com/2009/12/21/top-50-albums-of-2009/ - Blare Magazine


Posted by James in Featured Articles, Music Streams, Unsigned Spotlight on 01 2nd, 2010 | 2 responses

****You Need To Know is a recurring feature on UTG in which we share an up and coming UNSIGNED/INDIE LABEL artists that we feel you need to be made aware of. If you, or someone you know has a band you think the UTG should mention, email: info@underthegunreview.net TODAY!****

Who: A Lot Like Birds
Origin: Sacramento, CA
Genre: Indie Rock/Experimental
For Fans of: The Fall of Troy, The Sound of Animals Fighting
Currently Playing: Plan B
LISTEN: “Hallows or Horcruxes”

A Lot Like Birds is a troupe of seven kindred yet wildly different souls from Sacramento, California. Founders Michael Franzino and Michael Littlefield, multi-instrumentalist and bassist, after growing out of respective ska and punk rock scenes, collected an eclectic group of musicians from miscellaneous genres and projects: originally intended as guests on Michael and Michael’s debut album, “Plan B,” Cory Lockwood, screamer, and Ben Wiacek, guitarist (of post-hardcore project, Discovery Of A Lifelong Error), Athena Koumis, violinist (of folk-rock project, Life as Ghosts), Juli Lydell, vocalist/keyboardist, and Tyler Lydell, drummer (of experimental-folk project, The Dreaded Diamond), one by one, all unexpectedly became integral units of the project, banding around the Michaels.

I first came into contact with ALLB through an email sent to me by one of the Michaels. Now, I’d say an average week at UTG finds us buried in at least 25-30 unsigned bands sending pretty much the same “hey, we’re good, please put us on your site” emails and while we do listen to every one, very few tend to live up to the grand build up the email suggested. The email I recieved from Michael however, was much more loose and friendly. There was no search for a handout, but rather an invitation to hear an album he and some friends had been working on. Blown away by the easy-going nature of the record, I went ahead and put on their record, Plan B, with no expectations and an open mind. What came through my speakers and later [many, many times] my headphones, was/is one of the most profound efforts of underground experimental rock I’ve ever heard. Over the course of it’s 9 tracks, Plan B manages to encapsulate nearly every facet of rock and roll with ease and skill. No two songs sound the same, yet everything flows and the instrumentation will surely leave you with your jaw on the floor, heavy from trying to withhold the gallons of drool each and every guitar lick/sax solo/and drum pattern brings about.

Music on any kind of epic scale is not exactly America or the world’s cup of tea, but for those who get it, it’s considered an art form. If that the case here, I think A Lot Like Birds may just be the Rembrandt we’ve all been waiting for. Luckily for all of you, the band has made their debut record FREE FOR DOWNLOAD on their Myspace [link below]. Here’s my advice: Download it, find the finest pair of headphones you have, light a few candles, kill any room electric lighting, and allow yourself to be absorbed in this record. You won’t regret or forget it.

CHECK OUT THEIR MYSPACE!

-James Shotwell


- Under The Gun Review (extension of Alternative Press)


A Lot Like Birds / Plan B / Shattered Records

It’s a daunting task, reviewing this full length debut from young Sacramento, California group A Lot Like Birds, so, before I go any further, let me just say that it is continually impressive, intriguing, and a great achievement for them. This album sounds like what I had hoped Fall of Troy’s follow up to Doppelgänger would sound like. It’s progressive, it’s temperamental, it’s symphonic, and it’s full of lengthy complex songs that are not afraid to go off on saxophone-fueled tangents. Some albums I might compare it to are Don Caballero’s World Class Listening Problem (but with more vocals) or The Sound Of Animals Fighting’s latest, The Earth and The Sun (but with fewer vocals).

Instead of jamming breakneck math-rock and screaming from start to finish, which would’ve worn thin, there are some incredibly thoughtful interludes – some classical, some trip hop (as on the climactic “How I Parted The Red Sea”) – that work to break up the meaty bits. Due to the pervading talent of the musicians involved, rarely does the lack of vocals leave songs sounding at all empty – but it does happen occasionally; samples from The Empire Strikes Back (“Your Ex Marked My Spot”) and American Beauty (“Sesame Street is no Place for Vengeance”) work in an interesting way to illustrate the theme or feeling behind each number, but they aren’t always enough to build the sort of connection vocals can add to backing music, no matter how mundane.

Download: “How I Parted the Red Sea,” “Your Ex Marked My Spot”
- Blare Magazine


Sacramento music wunderkind Michael Franzino talks A Lot Like Birds
Words by Julie De La Torre
Photo by Daniel Dare



A Lot Like Birds isn’t, well, a lot like anything else you’ve heard before. Starting out as a two-man project led by frontman Michael Franzino, the experimental group soon picked up five additional members and hasn’t looked back. Since winning the Jammies with former band She’s a Dead Man in 2007, the precocious 20-year-old has not only grown up mentally, but musically, as well.

Submerge had the chance to chat with Franzino about everything from his main sources of inspiration to what it was like recording an insanely sophisticated debut release in the confines of a suburban living room. With their ball-busting stage presence and new full-length album, Plan B, A Lot Like Birds is proving to be one of the most promising up-and-comers of 2010.

So, first off, what are you trying to accomplish with A Lot Like Birds that’s different from your other musical projects?
In my previous and first band, our appeal lied solely in our live shows, due to youthful inexperience and naiveté in musicianship and our wildly eccentric and strong stage presence. People came to our shows to dance or laugh at how silly we could be. A lot has changed in my life in the two years since the demise of She’s a Dead Man, and a hell of a lot has changed since the beginning of it four years ago, when the majority of that music was written. It’s kind of like being a senior laughing at your goofy freshman self in retrospect. I’d like to think (or hope, really) that A Lot Like Birds gives people something stimulating or moving to listen to, while we lose our fucking minds on stage night after night.

What were your biggest challenges while recording Plan B?
That would most definitely be the drum programming process, which took five of the nine total months in the studio with the great Jack O’Donnell’s Shattered Records. I basically had a big MIDI spreadsheet before me with every possible beat and every possible drum and cymbal where I had to dictate, as a guitarist, every single drum note and how hard it was to be hit. That, and we had all kinds of nail-biting computer troubles; Jack never expected to record songs with over 100 tracks.

What have you taken from this entire experience? What have you learned since your days of winning the Jammies in high school?
What I learned most from this experience was the recording process really, and how to utilize it as another dynamic in my music. There are all kinds of tricks [and] ways to change moods or make parts sound bigger or spacey or creepy. Utilizing effects and compression appropriately can really make a song or part something different. There’s so much more to making a record than people think; it gives me such a new love for the albums I revere.

It seems like the album has a lot of Mars Volta/At the Drive In inspiration behind it. If so, how does that come into play? What/who are your main influences?
Omar Rodriguez-Lopez is certainly a hero of mine. If I take anything from the man, it’s a driving insistence upon challenging myself and an audience. Using chaos and discord to contrast gentle and beautiful or making tension and anxiety in a big build are some of my favorite dynamics, and Omar is a master of them among many other things. If the music I write is influenced by anything I can articulate, it’s moods or phases in my life. The past few years in which Plan B formed in my head were some of the darkest times I’ve seen. I think you can hear it in comparison to my embarrassing former work.

What was it like to record with 10-plus musicians?
It’s absolutely amazing. I wouldn’t have it any other way; I like big compositions with all kinds of layers to tear apart and fall into. I’d be tragically bored in a typical three-piece rock band. The performances I witnessed in Jack’s studio were absolutely beautiful. Most of these guest musicians came in without hearing the music once and laid their parts down in one to two takes. I could not be more grateful to have such helpful and incredibly talented friends.

This album was very reminiscent of a rock opera—was that your intent?
It was not, but I had certainly hoped for the songs to flow well into each other and for it to be an album, not just a collection of songs. I think there is a difference; each song on the album is intentionally placed where it is.

Describe the live show of A Lot Like Birds… What do you think sets you guys apart from anyone else right now?
Our live show was an interesting entity to orchestrate, with the album consisting of so many musicians and all. Originally intended as guests on the album, Cory Lockwood, screamer; Ben Wiacek, guitarist [of post-hardcore project, Discovery of a Lifelong Error]; Athena Koumis, violinist [of folk-rock project, Life as Ghosts]; Juli Lydell, vocalist/keyboardist and Tyler Lydell, drummer [of experimental-folk project, The Dreaded Diamond] have all banded around myself and bassist Michael Litterfield. Making us seven strong, there’s rarely a time when you don’t have something to watch. We arrive to shows with every intent to walk off stage extremely sore, sweaty and out of breath.

What are your plans for 2010? Any ideas for a tour or additional albums?
We are going in to record an acoustic EP called Fuck Morrissey within the next two weeks and after that another full length, because if this took nine months to record, only God knows how long the next one will. As far as touring, we are most definitely going to tour at all costs this summer, hopefully with the backing of a label or management company, but DIY will suffice.

Any last words?
Yes, please listen to the bands whose musicians were guest on this album, including: The Dreaded Diamond, H. Letham, Life as Ghosts, Discovery of a Lifelong Error, Zuhg and our friends The Speed of Sound in Sea Water!

A Lot Like Birds

A Lot Like Birds headlined Jan. 16 at the Shire Road Club in Sacramento.
To find out when and where they’re playing next check out www.myspace.com/alotlikebirds



http://submergemag.com/featured/orchestrated-chaos/1151/ - Submerge Magazine


Remember when you were kid and you could get those mixed goodie bags where inside you’d find a variety of sweets, puzzles, crayons and ridiculously fragile, cheap toys? Well, A Lot Like Birds’ Plan B is a lot like those goodie bags, only certainly not fragile or cheap and there doesn’t appear to be any crayons with it.

There’s a near unhealthy amount of experimentation going on in Plan B, and while they’re certainly not alone in such versatility and abnormality, the record still feels a little fresh. It’s also aided by the fact that it’s a fun album for the most part.

It shifts in and out of post hardcore imbued passages to frantic, sometimes math laden bursts and when it wants, and indeed needs to be, it’s gently mellow. There are also several guest performances running throughout, like that of trumpet and sax players, to name only a few.

The opening three tracks, with screams and sing-alongs in tow, act as a melee of abstruse riffs, but then the coin flips to the other side. Your Ex Marked My Spot is unabashedly poppy and steeped in hooks and sprints through the same vein of Underoath circa They’re Only Chasing Safety. However, the track truly delivers with its thunderous, emotive climax.

Closer, Sesame Street Is No Place For Vengeance meanders to a somewhat unexpected, yet in another sense expected twist after seven minutes. That may seem like a nonsensical description, but nothing about Plan B really makes sense anyway. The changed vibe is strongly radio rock, and that’s not an insult as some may have you believe. The ability to write hooks is not always an easy task.

There’s great ambition in Plan B, but sometimes it’s difficult to gauge. When it strikes you though, its lush expressiveness is wholly engaging. The band themselves describe their tremulous sound as “if the Polyphonic Spree worshipped Satan”. After many listens, you know what? That’s right on the money. What is next will certainly be fascinating, another great solid release that has seemingly popped up from the wilderness. - Drop D Music


When your hopes are high and your goals are set you have either two possible outcomes, the first being absolute jaw-dropping failure or you can break Newton’s Law of Physic, jump out of the window and fly. Maybe this reviewer is heaping a bit too much hyperbolic praise but here goes anyway. Hailing from the heavily populated (both musically and individually) city of Sacramento, California, there lies a small, fairly unheard of musical collective that call themselves A Lot Like Birds. Now, I don’t know about you readers but this reviewer certainly had quite a laugh at the shear cheesiness of said band name, almost to the point where listening to this album seemed unnecessary, it surely had to be bad. But after procuring their album Plan B, needless to say I was a bit taken aback; I really had no idea what hit me. Let us begin:

I remember hearing/experiencing, for the first time, Circle Takes the Squares album, Undo the Roots. Quite honestly I thought it was an absolute mess of an album, it nearly took a full year to even begin to understand what had hit me. Yet something magical happened at that catalytic moment, that sudden realization that there is something truly special and beautiful to behold in every note and every screamed anecdote taken from that album. While it did not nearly take over a year to finally realize, I have come to the conclusion that Plan B has hit me in such a way that there is no denying there is something truly wonderful about this album. Stylistically, this group has unknowingly taken a giant leap and has somehow snagged the stars on their way up.

One thing that A Lot Like Birds relies heavily on and it felt on the very first track ‘Ted Bundy’s Thanksgiving Dinner’, is the mood setting atmosphere they create. Three members are dedicated to the general setting that is felt on Plan B, those members being rhythm guitarist Michael Franzino, violinist (yes, you heard me right) Athena Koumis and keyboardist Julil Ydell. Every song seems to ebb and flow, corrugating melodies leading into overtly dramatic climaxes that ebb down to mere single guitar chords that are soon brought up again, build up after build up. Every member of the band is used according to their skills and every musical instrument is utilized in such a way that the listener will have to simply pause the song and say to themselves ‘Can it really be this good?’. The Fall of Troy-esque ‘When the Wolf is Counting Sheep’ features spastic skramz style screaming coupled with on-again off-again guitar tapping that will surely cause a listener to consistently be eager as to where what direction they will go in next. The greatest treat of all comes at the end of said track where we are greeted by a sax solo reminiscent to Bomb the Music Industry! or even prog-rockers The Mars Volta.

Yet one does not create an album such as Plan B by merely biting off said bands and hope to create a true work of art. A Lot Like Birds are one of those bands that are not afraid to continually experiment from one song to the next and it results in many surprises throughout the entire album. Plan B can be respectively divided into two three parts, each separated by two filler tracks. The first part begins with the first three tracks and they are essentially a collection of musical ballads that take influence from most screamo, emo, and progressive bands such as Circle Takes the Square, The Fall of Troy and The Mars Volta. After a cleverly crafted instrumental, we are greeted to the second part of the album which features a dip into the extremes of both Saves the Day style of infectiously catchy pop-punk and the hardliner style of Thrices post-hardcore. After a final filler track, the final part is a dip into a mixture of all said genres and it is here where A Lot Like Birds shines. Combining spaz, catchy hooks and a very impressive display of fret work, songs like ‘How I Parted the Red Sea’ takes the listener on a musical journey through nearly all styles of rock and punk, from post-punk to freejazz, no limit is placed.

This album is absolutely essential for any lover of any of the genres mentioned. Enough dissonance to satisfy most Circle Takes the Square fans, enough guitar wankery to please any Fall of Troy fan and enough sugar to keep even the heaviest fan of Saves the Day satiated. A Lot Like Birds have only one struggle that is keeping this from becoming a near masterpiece and that is being the samples that nearly start off every track. They seem completely unnecessary and, combined with the fairly off putting band name, doesn’t help them be taken seriously. But this problem is easily ignored and fairly contrite when compared the shear genius that is Plan B. For an album such as this, it had two ways to go, up or down; well… just give this a listen and see for yourself just what direction they went. I’ll tell you right now, it’s fairly obvious. Bravo. - Sputnik Music


Screamo music sounds nothing like the sweet song of birds, yet somehow local seven-piece post-hardcore act A Lot Like Birds’ Plan B album channels the beauty of, say, a nightingale’s dark harmony. “(1.20.8.5.14.1)” is a lovely, violin-inspired instrumental with a stomp-clap backbeat and intermittent pizzicato—a beautiful interlude. Even the run-of-the-mill screamo anthem “Sesame Street Is No Place for Romance” mixes it up: saxophone embellishments during the bridge, electronic-programming flourishes. These two tracks are prime examples of A Lot Like Birds’ musical consciousness, especially considering that one of my biggest criticisms of screamo and post-hardcore music is its lack of dynamics. Birds break the mold, flies above. Of course, songs like “When the Wolf Is Counting Sheep” reveals Birds’ more derivative side. But the intro to the instrumental “How I Parted the Red Sea” reaffirms Plan B’s best assets: ripping guitars, staccato start-stop arrangements, post-prog drum precision, even Yes-like keys. And hell, there’s a dueling solo at the end, which soars. Nest in and enjoy. Catch A Lot Like Birds on Friday, February 26, 7 p.m.; $8. Club Retro, 6521 Hazel Avenue in Orangevale. - Sacramento News & Review


When your hopes are high and your goals are set you have either two possible outcomes, the first being absolute jaw-dropping failure or you can break Newton’s Law of Physic, jump out of the window and fly. Maybe this reviewer is heaping a bit too much hyperbolic praise but here goes anyway. Hailing from the heavily populated (both musically and individually) city of Sacramento, California, there lies a small, fairly unheard of musical collective that call themselves A Lot Like Birds. Now, I don’t know about you readers but this reviewer certainly had quite a laugh at the shear cheesiness of said band name, almost to the point where listening to this album seemed unnecessary, it surely had to be bad. But after procuring their album Plan B, needless to say I was a bit taken aback; I really had no idea what hit me. Let us begin:

I remember hearing/experiencing, for the first time, Circle Takes the Squares album, Undo the Roots. Quite honestly I thought it was an absolute mess of an album, it nearly took a full year to even begin to understand what had hit me. Yet something magical happened at that catalytic moment, that sudden realization that there is something truly special and beautiful to behold in every note and every screamed anecdote taken from that album. While it did not nearly take over a year to finally realize, I have come to the conclusion that Plan B has hit me in such a way that there is no denying there is something truly wonderful about this album. Stylistically, this group has unknowingly taken a giant leap and has somehow snagged the stars on their way up.

One thing that A Lot Like Birds relies heavily on and it felt on the very first track ‘Ted Bundy’s Thanksgiving Dinner’, is the mood setting atmosphere they create. Three members are dedicated to the general setting that is felt on Plan B, those members being rhythm guitarist Michael Franzino, violinist (yes, you heard me right) Athena Koumis and keyboardist Julil Ydell. Every song seems to ebb and flow, corrugating melodies leading into overtly dramatic climaxes that ebb down to mere single guitar chords that are soon brought up again, build up after build up. Every member of the band is used according to their skills and every musical instrument is utilized in such a way that the listener will have to simply pause the song and say to themselves ‘Can it really be this good?’. The Fall of Troy-esque ‘When the Wolf is Counting Sheep’ features spastic skramz style screaming coupled with on-again off-again guitar tapping that will surely cause a listener to consistently be eager as to where what direction they will go in next. The greatest treat of all comes at the end of said track where we are greeted by a sax solo reminiscent to Bomb the Music Industry! or even prog-rockers The Mars Volta.

Yet one does not create an album such as Plan B by merely biting off said bands and hope to create a true work of art. A Lot Like Birds are one of those bands that are not afraid to continually experiment from one song to the next and it results in many surprises throughout the entire album. Plan B can be respectively divided into two three parts, each separated by two filler tracks. The first part begins with the first three tracks and they are essentially a collection of musical ballads that take influence from most screamo, emo, and progressive bands such as Circle Takes the Square, The Fall of Troy and The Mars Volta. After a cleverly crafted instrumental, we are greeted to the second part of the album which features a dip into the extremes of both Saves the Day style of infectiously catchy pop-punk and the hardliner style of Thrices post-hardcore. After a final filler track, the final part is a dip into a mixture of all said genres and it is here where A Lot Like Birds shines. Combining spaz, catchy hooks and a very impressive display of fret work, songs like ‘How I Parted the Red Sea’ takes the listener on a musical journey through nearly all styles of rock and punk, from post-punk to freejazz, no limit is placed.

This album is absolutely essential for any lover of any of the genres mentioned. Enough dissonance to satisfy most Circle Takes the Square fans, enough guitar wankery to please any Fall of Troy fan and enough sugar to keep even the heaviest fan of Saves the Day satiated. A Lot Like Birds have only one struggle that is keeping this from becoming a near masterpiece and that is being the samples that nearly start off every track. They seem completely unnecessary and, combined with the fairly off putting band name, doesn’t help them be taken seriously. But this problem is easily ignored and fairly contrite when compared the shear genius that is Plan B. For an album such as this, it had two ways to go, up or down; well… just give this a listen and see for yourself just what direction they went. I’ll tell you right now, it’s fairly obvious. Bravo. - Sputnik Music


Screamo music sounds nothing like the sweet song of birds, yet somehow local seven-piece post-hardcore act A Lot Like Birds’ Plan B album channels the beauty of, say, a nightingale’s dark harmony. “(1.20.8.5.14.1)” is a lovely, violin-inspired instrumental with a stomp-clap backbeat and intermittent pizzicato—a beautiful interlude. Even the run-of-the-mill screamo anthem “Sesame Street Is No Place for Romance” mixes it up: saxophone embellishments during the bridge, electronic-programming flourishes. These two tracks are prime examples of A Lot Like Birds’ musical consciousness, especially considering that one of my biggest criticisms of screamo and post-hardcore music is its lack of dynamics. Birds break the mold, flies above. Of course, songs like “When the Wolf Is Counting Sheep” reveals Birds’ more derivative side. But the intro to the instrumental “How I Parted the Red Sea” reaffirms Plan B’s best assets: ripping guitars, staccato start-stop arrangements, post-prog drum precision, even Yes-like keys. And hell, there’s a dueling solo at the end, which soars. Nest in and enjoy. Catch A Lot Like Birds on Friday, February 26, 7 p.m.; $8. Club Retro, 6521 Hazel Avenue in Orangevale. - Sacramento News & Review (SN&R)


Discography

A Lot Like Birds self-released their first ever full length in late 2009 titled Plan B, which was made available free to download.

A Lot Like Birds is set to release their sophomore full length, on Doghouse Records in the fall of 2011.

Photos

Bio


The music scene is over-saturated. In a strictly uniform musical environment that rewards low-risk bands, A Lot Like Birds was formed with two intentions: to push boundaries and move people on the way.

The band is a 6-8 piece Progressive/Post-Hardcore outfit from Sacramento, CA known for their tendency to experiment with several diverse genre influences and their incorporation of orchestral and ambient sound-scapes contrasted by chaotic, schizophrenic episodes. On January 9th of 2011, A Lot Like Birds announced that Kurt Travis (Ex of Dance Gavin Dance, Five Minute Ride, No Not Constant, and O! the Joy) would be the new singer and second front-man, alongside Cory Lockwood. Their debut album Plan B was the brainchild of the band’s guitarist/original vocalist Michael Franzino, who invited several talented musicians in the Sacramento scene to perform on the record. Saxophones, trumpets and trombones, violins and cellos, and female and screamo vocal arrangements all make appearances on the record. Five of these musicians came to form the core of the final band and they have spent their first year of existence diligently perfecting their live set, building their fan base, and most recently, writing their sophomore album as a collaborative effort. Their live set is known for setting deep moods that swing from thoughtful, emotional build-ups to body-moving, epic climaxes.

On June 6th, 2011, A Lot Like Birds will enter the Interlace Audio recording studio with Producer/Engineer Kris Crummet (Closure In Moscow, Fear Before, Dance Gavin Dance) to record their second full length album, which will be released on Doghouse Records in the fall.