Brooklyn’s Beth Wawerna is no stranger to bitterness. In her time with Bird Of Youth she’s traversed a folk-country stoicism over into hard rock territory and back with ease, having collaborated with the likes of Will Sheff of Okkervil River and The Wrens’ Charles Bissell on her debut full-length Defender. She’s primed in making sounds both soft and unabashedly loud, and Bird Of Youth’s new record, Get Off, falls on the latter side. During the five years since her last release, Wawerna experienced the passing of her father followed by a heavy period of self-questioning, and the emergent sounds her five-piece has made strike hard.
“I was young and I was such a flirty bitch / shit’s less cute when you’re 36,” Wawerna growls in the middle of “Bitter Filth”, in what’s partly a reality check and partly a shameless embrace of being mired in your own shame. Frankly, getting older doesn’t seem to be holding anyone here back. This is about as rocked-out as the band gets, with Clint Newman’s piercing lead guitar lines driving their way through the spiraling vocal harmonies and Johnny North’s insistent rhythm section. There’s no question that they can write a hook that sticks, or several of them in succession. In classic punk rock form, they inject some some triumph and catharsis into living in filth, like if you do it well enough and for long enough it becomes redeeming.
You can hear “Bitter Filth” below. Bird Of Youth’s Get Off is due out May 20 on Kiam Records.