Friday, September 04, 2020

Night Birds - Fresh Kills Vol. II

Man, does time fly! This blog has been around so long that I reviewed Night Birds' Fresh  Kills Vol. 1 when it was still new! I originally imagined myself doing this blog for a year or two, maybe 3 or 4 tops. Nine years later, I just can't bring myself to stop. Don't I have anything better to do with my time? Apparently not! So here I am reviewing the second volume of Fresh Kills, which released today on Bandcamp with all proceeds going to the IDF (Immune Deficiency Foundation). This is a very simple and great idea for a digital collection: it compiles all of Night Birds' singles released since 2013. Included are the entirety of the EPs Maimed for the Masses, Monster Surf, and Who Killed Mike Hunchback? along with several comp cuts and unreleased songs for a total of 20 tracks. Stephen Egerton mastered these recordings, which sound absolutely phenomenal. Now if you've been a Night Birds fan all along, you probably own most of this stuff already. But if you don't, this is like getting a whole new Night Birds album for a $5 download - and in the process you're benefiting common variable immune deficiency research!

There's not much to say about Night Birds that I haven't said 16 times before. This is one of our great modern-day punk rock bands, and just the other day I found myself contemplating how Night Birds have some of the best lyrics in punk music ever (How prophetic was "Left In The Middle", written well before the unthinkable events of 2016?). Let the fans debate whether Born To Die In Suburbia or Mutiny At Muscle Beach is the best point of entry for Night Birds exploration (I might be a troublemaker and make my case for Roll Credits). But if you own and love all the albums and are wondering if Fresh Kills Volume II is really worth buying, the answer is absolutely yes! The Maimed for the Masses tracks hold up great and are highly underrated in my book. "Last Gasp", which I once referred to as a "throttling ode to autoerotic asphyxiation", remains a Night Birds classic. Some of the demos released as Who Killed Mike Hunchback? are arguably superior to the album versions. The instrumental tracks off of Monster Surf show off the band's sick chops. And if you want to hear Night Birds cover the likes of Effigies, GG & the Jabbbers, and Big Boys, this is definitely the collection for you.

For more information about the great work being done by the Immune Deficiency Foundation, check out the IDF web site. The $5 (or more) that you pay for Fresh Kills Vol. II will go to a worthy cause. Go ahead: complete your Night Birds collection! All downloads come with a PDF of liner notes!


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