The Birds and the Breheneys is an EP by Adelaide, Australia’s Zacc Breheny, a one man band who layers his own vocals, guitars and bass to make emotionally raw punk folk.
Leading off with “I Believe,” a mixture of acoustic guitar with some electric leads spill out under harmonized vocals with Green Day inflections. The melody is good and the guitars are interesting, but they get a little busy playing over the vocal, which ends up distracting from the melody. It’s a nice contrast in the second verse where it opens up and the voice can be heard clearly. “Stay Away” is a minor key warning to someone accompanied by florid vocals in the chorus and a simple but effective arpeggiated electric guitar in the chorus. “Perfect” features the most catchy melody on the EP, sung out over loud fuzzed out guitars. Unfortunately the solo is a little lost in the mix with the rhythm guitar dominating the field. Some of the scansion of the lyrics is a little rough too; a few edits could perhaps clean that up.
“Sock” is the most heartfelt song about footwear since Carl Perkins’ Blue Suede Shoes. Based on a palm muted bluesy riff, it has some clever lyrics and a good drive, though again the lead guitar gets a bit busy during the verse stepping on the vocal melody. “Wasted Time” has lots of momentum from layered acoustic guitars and a nice harmonized electric guitar. The lyric owes a bit to Phish in its twist at the end but it’s a nice sentiment.
The EP closes with “Alone With You,” which is a slow burn build from palm-muted guitar to full chords. The guitar is a little loud and could use some compression. The vocal could use some more dynamics, which is something Breheny is very capable of based on his performance in the earlier tracks.
Overall there are some clever songs with some real emotion to them. Some remixing and simplification of parts might help the songs cut through even more.
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