A little over a year ago the Boston indie rock three-piece Birdwatching had their debut four- song EP Leaving Sounds reviewed on these very pages. The review was an accurate description of the band that was just starting out and trying perhaps as many bands do to release their best effort into the world.
Leaving Sounds was soaked in upbeat and fuzzy riffs and had that signature DIY hum to the recording. In the review Birdwatching were also called out by the reviewer as a band which falls into the “wait and see category.”
So here we are a year later and Birdwatching is back with their second offering, the three- song EP Hard Feelings. From the get go, one can hear an immense change in the sound quality. The band also comes out swinging with bigger hooks than before and tighter chops both musically and vocally.
The opener “Oh Mi” is a dance inducing pop gem that is bursting at the seams with pop sensibility. Sharing of vocal duties, bassist Andrea Neuenfeldt and guitarist Alex Zaniboni complement each other very well and percussionist James Soares fantastically keeps up the beats in the background with some pretty punchy drum fills. At just over two minutes “Oh Mi” sweeps in, swiftly kicks ass and then gets out.
The second song “Shukra,” is reminiscent of ‘90s emo acts; Rainer Maria comes to mind, as it changes direction and pacing going from hard and fast rock and then gradually slowing down the pace with angular guitar riffs, taut bass lines and hard, hollow-edged beats. The final song slows down the pace as it bounces along with a feel good jam session vibe that doesn’t quite have the same catchiness or rhythmic nuances of its predecessors.
With Hard Feelings Birdwatching has definitely shown that good old fashioned hard work is one of the most key components to a band tightening their sound and honing their craft. Birdwatching is no longer a band to wait and see, but a band that should be heard now.
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