Disguised As Birds – Black Circles CD EP

Brand spanking new stuff up for review again and this is the fourth release I’ve done from the almighty Phratry Records.  We share a kinship as we are both midwest outfits, but that’s such a vague and broad location, as the north midwest is worlds a part from where I’m at in the mid-midwest.  This time we have a band that goes by the name of Disguised as Birds, a name I really dig, thoughtful and interesting you know what I mean?  It’s refreshing to hear a band in the here and now play good old fashioned no bullshit rock and roll.  Not young people regurgitating something from days gone by and not senior citizens trying to recapture a moment 40 years past, this is good clean, fresh rock and roll, without the distraction of things like heavy metal, punk, hardcore, glam or any other sub-genre you can think of.  There’s a lot of leeway within that solid rock and roll base, and DBB explore that world quite well with a mixture of harder and softer tunes.  Once again a band that’s no stranger to their instruments, they obviously didn’t just pick them up the other day.  Phratry hasn’t let me down yet.  Here’s the press release I got:

DISGUISED AS BIRDS was born in 2004 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Their
new double EP is the band’s fourth release and the thirty-first from
Phratry Records (Cincinnati, Ohio). It is available as an 8-song
vinyl record with a 10-song download. It features the brand-new
“Black Circles” EP as well as a re-release of the 2009 “New Demons”
RECOMMENDED IF YOU LIKE: Shiner, Jawbox, Fugazi, Thin Lizzy.
Although the band possesses a dreamy, shimmering quality, Disguised
As Birds have built their sound on a foundation of explosively heavy
rock with frequent comparisons to Shiner, Regulator Watts, Jawbox,
Shipping News and Juno. And despite their artsy leanings, Disguised
As Birds unquestionably has the vibe of a classic rock band. In
spirit, if not in incessant riffing, they pack a great deal of soul
into every measure of every tune. The band has been touring off and
on throughout the MidWest for years. Influenced by all things rock
and roll, art, and the often cold and bleak environment in which they
live, this is a band that can pummel, sprint and soar.
“pledging allegiance to ’90s noise rock and post-punk”
— The Onion AV Club
“this Milwaukee-based group’s sound is aggressive while lyrically
introspective; a truly difficult musical feat to master.”
— Music Examiner
STREAM: http://disguisedasbirds.bandcamp.com
Jerry Dirr, Phratry Records: press@phratryrecords.com
P.O. Box 14267 : Cincinnati, Ohio 45250
http://www.phratryrecords.com : phratry@phratryrecords.com
distributed by STICKFIGURE
P.O. Box 55462 : Atlanta, GA 30308
http://www.stickfiguredistro.com : info@stickfiguredistro.com

I’d like to post all the tunes as this thing rocks from beginning to end but that leaves yall without a mystery and some kind of motivation to go out and get this bad boy.  The first song I have up for you, for some reason, upon first listen, the thing that came to mind was the band New Model Army…maybe it’s the vocals…(there’s even an old U2 vibe on some of the tunes, but if you’re not a U2 fan don’t let that distract you, give these guys a listen)…

Black Circles

Glad Hands

The promo copy I got just has the “Black Circles” EP but you can get that and their “New Demons” EP from 2009. together on one 12″…my favorite tune from that older EP…

Cigarette Ghost

A live tune from a very underpopulated club (what happens around here unless you can play country or 80’s rock covers)…

Motocaster – The Buddha 7″

I was talking to an old buddy of mine the other day and it really hit me how sophisticated he is spirtually.  Not a complicated kind of sophistication or a dogmatic kind of organized religion type of thing, more of connection to the world around him.  I’ve struggled with that all my life, a feeling of disconnectedness.  As I’ve gotten older I think things make more sense and I’ve found my niche, but as Charles Manson said, “maybe I haven’t done enough”.  I have this uneasy feeling about where I stand in the world and with the world being what it is maybe I don’t want any part of it.  I go through the motions with my rituals for experiencing the sacred, but sometimes, the temple comes crashing down.  Lots of little things become big things and then I end up despising the human race of which I am inescapably a part of.  What can bring me back down to earth is thoughts of the almost infinite vastness of the universe, and this world is just a speck.  And on this planet of over 6 billion people I, and everyone else individually, are just specks on that speck.  What goes on is really meaningless, unless I’m dead, I will still get up in the morning, inhale and exhale, and go on about my day.  Mustard Relics is my sanity, my ritual, my way of feeling connected.

The Addams Family, one of my all time favorite shows as a kid…had a huge crush on Morticia Addams (Carolyn Jones who was married to that idiot Aaron Spelling back in the 50’s). About the time that the show was wrapping up in ’66, one of the greatest songs ever written came out. The Stones did not fuck around when they wrote this one…
The Rolling Stones – Paint It Black (Ready Steady Go – May 27, 1966)
…and sure as shit everybody and his brother has covered it.  Not sure if anyone ever came close to the original and some versions really suck balls, but these guys did something insane with it…
The Animals – Paint It Black
…this live version would have been incredible to see as so many of the acts at the Monterey Pop Festival would have been…
Eric Burdon and the Animals – Paint It Black (Monterey 1967)
…Eric Burdon must have really loved the tune, this is a 14 minute jam done with WAR…
Eric Burdon and War – Paint It Black
…the definitive female punk rock version, maybe my favorite…
The Avengers – Paint It Black
…the Las Vegas version…
Chris Farlowe- Paint It Black
…in French…
Marie Laforet – Paint It Black
…in Italian (very beautiful)…
Caterina Caselli – Paint it Black
…what do you want, I like Ministry ever since they had Gibby from the Butthole Surfers do a song, they do good putting their spin on the tune…
Ministry – Paint It Black
…I’m not a Marilyn Manson fan, but this is interesting (from “Repo the Genetic Opera”, a flick I wanted to see but the wife vetoed)…
Marilyn Manson – Paint It Black
…you go Blackie Lawless…
W.A.S.P. – Paint it Black

From 1993, outta Raliegh, NC where my boy is living, the first release from this short lived, under appreciated band.  The first tune just blows me away, a perfect song from begining to end, but unfortunately that’s it.  The second one is a karaoke cover, too much like the original to be interesting and the third is a free love jam that is as uninteresting as the cover…a waste of vinyl really.  But that first tune, DAMN!


The Buddha

Green Tambourine

Motorolla Greens

If you can try to find their only full length “Stay Loaded” it’s supposed to be more of the kickass variety of sameness.  Couldn’t find that for download when I did a quick search, but for some related stuff, including this 7″ check out Wilfully Obscure. Here’s the vid for the tune off the “Stay Loaded” LP (they were big enough to have made the MTV cut…

Wild Fields – Manhattan Here We Come EP

Mentioned these guys (and gals) briefly in another post.  My buddy Bjorn (that I’ve never actually met) outta Sweden turned me onto them, his daughter is the singer.  Kinda cool how being a musician sometimes gets passed down to the next generation (my son has mental health problems, addiction and compassion for the innocent to look forward to).  Wild Fields is a departure for me as I would put them more in the pop, soft rock realm.  I don’t explore music so much by genre as to it’s inherent enjoyability these days though.  Good singing, good musicianship, and a good vibe, it’s not all distortion and primal grunts anymore.  This music you listen to with your lady in a happy place, not by yourself lamenting your lot in life.  It’s innocent and playful. The singer’s voice reminds me a lot of Peggy Martinez from my Humboldt days with Drilling For Mom and Barking Dogma. I don’t know how long they’ve been at it, but their newest release is just a few months old.  They have a Soundcloud, a Myspace, a Facebook, and a Youtube, so access to their music is definitely there. I wish them success, happiness and the opportunity to bring their music to more people. Here’s a couple of tunes I ripped for you, but you can get all their music from the Soundcloud site…

Where The Lights Shine

Dirt On These Streets

…this one’s my favorite, kind of a punk/power pop feel, reminds of the band X…

Major Failure

…a live tune…

Their first (of many?) official vid…

Looking Glass – Brandy (You’re a Fine Girl)

Was on the road for work today, as usual listening to the radio and heard a tune I hadn’t in a while, by a band called Looking Glass (had to look it up), a one hit wonder of a band (they were actually short lived) from 1972. Listening to it gave me a good feeling, it took me back to the innocent times of being a young kid, driving around early 1970’s Los Angeles in my Mom’s Volkswagon Bug, listening to the radio.  Funny how 40 years later I’m doing the same thing, driving around listening to the radio.  This song has a little cheese factor, as so much of the post does.  Thinking back, all I knew was that the song was about some girl named Brandy.  Listened to the words this time, for the first time, and it’s actually got some really well written lyrics.  The guy has a great voice, a crooner of sorts, but it being the 70’s their sense of style was pretty whacked out.  From Cripple Bastards to Looking Glass…only at the Mustard Relics Cafe.

…RHCP do a very nice cover of the tune I found out, thanx to the Youtube suggestions they put up on the right (also suggested…Manfred Mann – Blinded by the LightSeasons In The Sun – Terry Jacks 1974Witchy Woman – EaglesGordon Lightfoot – Sundown 1974…classic 70’s easy listening.

Eyehategod / Cripple Bastards – split 7″

What movie is this from?  For some reason the surreal nature of the GIF speaks to me, like a dream I would have…morbidly dancing away and ultimately, maybe even frustratingly, getting nowhere.

Not much going on at Mustard Relics central other than bitching about things that can’t be changed (like human nature) and doing absolutely nothing about the things that can. Kind of an Eeyore mood.  As opposed to my mechanic who was whistling while he was working the other day.  Not because he is one of those mechanics getting fat off your money, fixing things that aren’t broken or really fixing nothing at all.  He is actually very fair, is a genius when it comes to vehicles and genuinely enjoys his work.

We watched The Color of Magic the other day, a made for TV thing, that was surprisingly entertaining.  The guy from Lord of the Rings is in it along with the always masterful, Tim Curry (boy he’s aged).  Anybody else used to go to the midnight showing of “Rocky Horror Picture Show” back in the day?  I digress.  Actually as far as comedy movies with “horror” in the tilte I prefer Rick Moranis in “Little Shop of Horrors”.  Anyway “Color of Magic” satisfied my fantasy craving that is rarely satisfied.

From fantasy to Black Metal (there is a connection isn’t there?)…was in a black metal mood for a second the other day and thought I’d share my findings (stumblings).  Black Metal has an almost comical side if you think about it, but if you’ve read the Old Testament book of Job, you know Satan has a very keen sense of humor…I think the guy must get a kick out of guys with spandex, painted faces and gravely voices.  I started out with this band, outta Spain, the demo is from 2001, and I’d classify them as more of the raw variety…

This is French “celtic pagan black metal” (or what came up when I typed that phrase into a search) from a 2009 re-release of a 2000 release …

…dug them enough to include a second tune…

…the kings of modern day raw black metal from their latest 2011 release…

…another one…

…and then I found myself going way back to the gods of black metal…

…and then of course, 2nd to Venom is…

Sort of ended up with this puppy in a backwards sort of way.  My old San Diego buddy Chris was living in New Orleans and mentioned a band worth checking into called Outlaw Order.  Just so happens they had released a 7″ on my old school chum Bob’s label, Deep Six Records.  Picked it up and was VERY satisfied with it’s heavy beastliness…

…see what I mean? As it turns out the band was made up of members from a previous New Orleans giant of a band called Eyehategod. Just like a modern day punk rock chicky getting giddy at the Hot Topic store, I get giddy when I discover something new (to me) and promising, so I must shop. Wasn’t too hard to track down some EHG as they released a lot of stuff, although it is sometimes a little overpriced on ebay. This split was released on the (infamous) Southern Lord label in 2004 (their 2nd to last release). Now I played the EHG side first of course and was pleasantly rewarded, great fucking sledge hammer of a tune. BUT, when I played the flip side I was completely blown away. What you get is the Cripple Bastards tearing shit up. This longish song that goes all over the place and even in it’s longishness it keeps you riveted throughout. Love it, and really that tune makes this split.