The Wind-Up Birds want to take you to a place where it's always raining; a grimy, post-industrial northern town where you can't go to the pub without being accosted by a knuckle-headed racist, where the only good record shop has just shut down and you can only escape the grim, relentless present by retreating into bleak memories of your childhood. They aren't a barrel of laughs.
Continue reading: The Wind-Up Birds, The Land Album Review
The Wind-Up Birds make articulate, aggressive, and determinedly northern indie rock. They place the spotlight firmly on their wordy 'singer', who isn't especially interesting in doing much conventional singing, instead alternating between relating the verses conversationally and barking out the choruses. That isn't intended as a criticism: on the contrary, his approach places him within a lineage of urgent, literate, speak-singing frontmen which began with Mark E Smith and includes talents like Art Brut's Eddie Argos. It's difficult not to be reminded of the latter's statement of intent: 'And yes, this is my singing voice/it's not irony, it's not rock and roll/we're just talking to the kids'. The Wind-Up Birds' vocalist certainly wants to talk to the kids. His lyrics are tales of everyday concerns: independent music stores shutting, getting sacked from a call centre, that sort of thing. These are not topics which should be addressed via smooth, slick vocals.
Continue reading: The Wind-Up Birds, Courage, For Tomorrow Will Be Worse EP Review
'Smalls Change (Meditations Upon Ageing)' arrives in April.
The two awards have made for a great 72nd birthday present for the country music icon.