The need for an expressive outlet has been the driving force for musicians for as long as anyone can remember, and was probably the single driving force for the inception of the punk movement. Every second of Night Birds‘ new LP and Fat Wreck Chords debut, Mutiny at Muscle Beach, is riddled with protest against the ennui of life and the hellish notion of “getting by.” Be it through the breakneck speed and murderous rhythm sections or the Black Flag-feel of the project as a whole; or through the cool balance of harrowing power-chords and surf guitar solos; or through frontman Brian Gorsegner’s violent outbursts, loaded with disdain, an old-school punk voice rings loudly on this record. These songs, 12 in all, clocking in at 25-minutes, are infused with pure attitude bopping from melodic, singalong anthem choruses with killer backup vocals (as on “Life Is Not Amusement For Me” and “Golden Age Of TV” and “Off the Grid”), to catchy surf sensibilities (“King Kong” and “Miskatonic Stomp”), to sickly fast three-chord bangers throughout (“Lapsed Catholics Need Discipline”). Just about all of Night Birds’ four members work fulltime days jobs and have a collective “life” outside of music, which explains how much goes into the band, and how much went into this record—it’s where they come to let it out.
Mutiny at Muscle Beach is out October 2 on Fat Wreck Chords.