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From the Mountain To the Sea


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Reseña de álbum

On their originally self-released debut, No Midnight, Birdmonster sounded like a comfortable composite of indie rock luminaries like Modest Mouse, Spoon, and the Pixies, crafting a jagged but heartfelt sound that paired big guitars with earnest vocals barking elliptical lyrics. What a difference a few years and a different producer make: they recruited Bradley Cook, who had produced music for Queens of the Stone Age and Foo Fighters, to give a rock wallop to No Midnight's sound, but on From the Mountain to the Sea — Birdmonster's first album for Fader Records — they enlisted Tom Schick, who had worked with Ryan Adams, Willie Nelson, and Norah Jones, and who brings the hints of Americana that lurked around the edges of Birdmonster's sound to center stage. From the Mountain to the Sea begins gently, especially compared to the first album's punchy attack, but its statements are just as bold: "My Love for You" is a tender, banjo-laden ballad that sounds more like the Mountain Goats than anything else in Birdmonster's songbook, and songs like "Lost at Sea" and the mandolin-tinged finale, "I Might Have Guessed," are ringing instead of raw. By turning down the volume, Birdmonster put more focus on their words, and on songs such as "The Only One," with its mentions of Papa and copperheads, and the imagery of a girl who prays to St. Anthony in "Our Ashes," the band aims for — and mostly hits — the rugged yet literate terrain of bands like Kings of Leon. But even on From the Mountain to the Sea's prettiest, most understated songs, such as "Concrete Lights," the band can't hide its muscular playing entirely, and Birdmonster crank up the amps again on "New Country" and "The Iditarod," a galloping rocker where the band comes closest to recapturing the first album's energy. "Greenland Sound" and "Heart of the Dead" try for that urgency as well and just miss it, but "Residue," which begins with pretty keyboards and banjos and then evolves into craggy riffs, finds a way to balance Birdmonster's impulses perfectly. Despite some stumbles, Birdmonster feel more convincing on this album than they did before, even if the impact isn't as great here as it was on their debut — they sound like they're challenging themselves more and their touchstones are less obvious. From the Mountain to the Sea is often undeniably pretty and always thoughtfully crafted; it just might take fans a few spins to realize that.


Se formó en: 2004 en San Francisco, CA

Género: Alternativa

Años de actividad: '00s

San Francisco quartet Birdmonster are kind of like a Bay Area version of Ted Leo & the Pharmacists, except that where Leo and his group have an undying devotion to first-wave new wave and ska groups like the Jam and the Specials, Birdmonster spike their Fugazi-like indie rock tunes with nods to American Beauty-era Grateful Dead and early Bruce Springsteen. Revved-up and punky rockers share space with country-inflected tunes that feature banjo, melodica, and cello, with singer/songwriter and guitarist...
Biografía completa
From the Mountain To the Sea, Birdmonster
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