Review of Two Wounded Birds Album by Two Wounded Birds

The first time we set eyes on Two Wounded Birds, they'd just opened for The Drums at Nottingham's Rock City so it comes as little surprise that the aforementioned band's Jacob Graham promptly signed them to his Holiday Friends Recording Company label. Graham and co. certainly deserve to take their share of the credit for exposing the Margate four-piece to a wider audience, although one suspects that, given time, Two Wounded Birds would have ploughed their way through regardless. It's all about the songs, see, and as they demonstrate so effortlessly from beginning to end of their self-titled debut, Two Wounded Birds have a knack of being able to churn them out by the bucket load.

Two Wounded Birds Two Wounded Birds Album

Not that the early signs weren't there; not only from those initial energetic shows supporting the Brooklyn surf poppers but also on their excellent 'Keep Dreaming Baby' EP. Having spent the ensuing two years touring relentlessly while playing every festival known to man in between, it's an achievement that they've managed to find the time to write such an accomplished record as this. Throw a couple of line-up changes into the mix as well, and it's hard to envisage how they could maintain a level of consistency despite such turbulence along the way.

However, main mouthpiece, guitar player and songwriter Johnny Danger is undoubtedly a man of focus and the twelve pieces of the jigsaw that make up 'Two Wounded Birds' all evidently demonstrate different sides to their constitution. While former single 'Together Forever' has its 'Fun! Fun! Fun!' diatribe and the 'I wanna be with you' chorus sounds like long lost Fonz inspired new wavers The Barracudas, 'I'm No Saviour' depicts their darker, more sinister side. 'If only I could dispose of you' croons Danger over a melody not that dissimilar from 'Tell Laura I Love Her', a number one hit for Ricky Valance over fifty years ago.

Current 45, 'My Lonesome' veers down the same trajectories as Roy Orbison and Chris Isaak; its breakdown firing in a B-52s style riff for good measure while Danger opines about being 'Alone with nobody at home'. At their most upbeat, Two Wounded Birds have a tendency to sound like The Cramps, had Lux Interior and co. been produced by Phil Spector. Alison Blackgrove's bass introduces the surf noir of 'Night Patrol' whose insistent melody makes it one of the standout songs here, while the instrumental midpoint that is 'The Last Supper' could be The Shadows 'Apache' for the Game Of Thrones generation.

The penultimate widescreen melodrama of 'The Outer World' and heavily orchestrated climax that is 'Growing' suggests Two Wounded Birds next development could be an interesting departure indeed. For now though, 'Two Wounded Birds' is a finely crafted record that does exactly what it says on the tin, and occasionally more besides.

Dom Gourlay

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