Night Birds- Born to Die in Suburbia (Grave Mistake, LP) West coast, California surfy, Dead Adolescents Kennedys, and something about killer waves are some of the words and phrases that are commonly used to describe New Jersey’s Night Birds. That said the band’s second LP is brimming with melodic punk that drops you somewhere between early Descendents and Circle Jerks.
Before this album, my favorite Night Birds material was their live set on Diane Kamikaze’s Fun Machine on WFMU where they began with the instrumental cover “Escape From New York.” So I was excited to see this is exactly where Born to Die in Suburbia takes off. The song propels itself right into the title track. And that’s how a lot of the album functions — two-minute blasts of energy sustained over 14 songs. The song “Nazi Gold” is considerably longer and slower than most in the band’s catalogue but it’s hypnotic and doesn’t in any way subtract from the vitality of the record as a whole, it adds to it. As far as lyrics go, the sci-fi themes have sort of disappeared in favor of more crazed narratives from the suburbs. It’s good, fast, tuneful and unsettling.
Review by John Tappen