No Birds
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No Birds

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Music

The best kept secret in music

Press


""dense, melodic soundscapes""

The Uniter - November 4, 2004

There is a phenomenal amount of great music coming off of the prairies these days, and a whole lot of it is being made by the creative minds of those affiliated with the Teargas Recording Tree. Between Saskatoon and Winnipeg, members of these bands are forging far from the beaten path, blending styles and re-interpreting influences to create new sounds that, while paying respect to the sources, still manage to sound fresh. No Birds fits perfectly into this mould.

Based in Saskatoon, the band is comprised of ten members, all of whom are in high school. These talented multi-instrumentalists weave dense, melodic soundscapes that effortlessly meld a wide variety of genres into a cohesive whole. Complex structures and dynamics, and a very balanced interplay of instruments keep the songs interesting throughout, and thematic variations (crashing-mellow-crashing) create a palpable tension that only increases the listener's involvement.

While the rhythmic foundation is sold (check track 1), what really sets these guys apart is the informed use of both horns and strings to create an atmosphere that really does defy catagorization. Most of the songs are multi-sectioned instrumental pieces, but there are a few choice vocal tracks, particularly track 6, 'How can I say "I love you" after hearing you say "I love you,"' which features a beautiful harmonized vocal.

There is something a little raw about this album, but it only serves to enhance the overall feeling of an unhurried, almost improvisational, process at work.

As a first attempt at capturing the feel of this band, this album is fantastic. Especially considering the relative youth of the members, if this is any indication of their potential, they will be a potent force before too long.

-C.M. - The Uniter


""No Birds are postmodernists . . .""

Editor's review - www.download.com

Twentieth century classical music collides with 21st century post rock in the dizzying stylistic amalgam of No Birds. Gently plucked electric guitars and drums lead the way for horn and string sections that, in turn, disappear behind walls o f chaotic distortion. No Birds are postmodernists illustrating the complexities of modern life. - download.com


""winter night snowflake-ish . . .""

www.threeohsix.org
No Birds - Don't Rely On Dying Young.
Written by Spider-Will
Tuesday, 22 June 2004

The German philosopher Immanuel Kant is said to have self described his impetus for writing The Critique of Pure Reason (the philosophical equivalent of the Beatles for those who don’t know it) as having been awakened from his dogmatic slumber by David Hume. In a less 16th century German Idealist genius sort of way, I have to admit to having had a similar experience recently, at the hands of Saskatoon’s own No Birds (and thus this review).

Moving well past the old maxim that ‘just because you’re a local band, doesn’t mean you get to suck’, No Birds debut CD Don't rely on dying young knocked my brain sideways and my heart all a flutter like only really bad (read: good) bourbon ought to. Post-rock goodness easily on par with the Constellation records crew output of the past several years, No Birds blends classical and jazz instrumentation (Cello, Violin, French Horn, Trumpet, Trombone, Alto Saxophone) with blissed out fuzzy guitars and a stellar rhythm section. Cause for further amazement is that all eight of these obviously talented musicians are still in high school (if you disagree, try to remember what you were up to in high school as a comparison…see, I told you so).

Post-rock as a genre does tend to slip into pretension sometimes, but with song titles such as “It will clearly be pyramid” and “Heavy Metal will never die” coupled with one of a kind packaging for every disc (a sweet and subtle fuck you to completists as well as a homemade hippy artifact), No Birds escape with feet firmly on the ground (and occasionally, tongues firmly in cheek). My early favorite track was the aptly titled “Suicide pact/ slumber party”, with its build from innocent gypsy accordion to acid-in-the-water-supply climax, with a little adapted Bing Crosby as denouement (ironic or not…you be the judge). Upon closer inspection however, “Givin’ up on Music” in all its nine minutes of capacious wonder wins the day, mostly because any band that can construct a nine minute song around a single guitar riff and still make it interesting deserves some serious respect.

What I’m trying to say here is this album is really good. In fact this album is so good it makes me want to use descriptions like winter night snowflake-ish and midnight mushroom playground adventure. But I’m not going to do that, instead I’m gonna go with fucking relentless, as in relentlessly fantabulous and not as in resembling metal in any way (note to metal fans: stop it. Your embarrassing everybody, especially yourselves). You can (and should) check No Birds out for yourselves at www.teargasrecordingtree.com . - www.threeohsix.org


Discography

Don't Rely on Dying Young LP - 2004
Flowers LP - 2005

Photos

Feeling a bit camera shy

Bio

No Birds began August, 2003 in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan (originally named "It Will Clearly Be A Pyramid"). Their first timid public appearance was in an echo-y community hall, opening for local punk-rock bands. They were flabbergasted when people approached with compliments after their set, and when Steve Reed of Teargas Recording Tree expressed interest in recording their material, they decided to stick together and make more music.

Since then, they have played with many notable Canadian and international bands and musicians such as Clann Zu, Sea Ray, A Northern Chorus, Fractal Pattern, The Faunts, All Purpose Voltage Heroes, The Absent Sound, Blood Music, Mahogany Frog, Holzkopf, and Maybe Smith. They sold over 200 copies of their first release, 'Don't rely on dying young,' in Saskatoon and have found wider distribution for their second album, 'Flowers', during a cross-Canada tour in August, 2005. 'Flowers' was released in early July with the help of Teargas Recording Tree.