Review: Vinnie Guidera & the Dead Birds-Lows.

November 25, 2015

I’m going to preface this “review” by saying that this isn’t truly be a review of this LP. By definition, that would entail me going through this thing looking for different aspects to critique. I do enjoy doing that but I also enjoy sitting and enjoying which is what I did here. Vinnie and Co. are guys who I consider to be my friends. Kevin has actually been my best friend for quite some time now so obviously I’m going to be a fan of anything this guys do.

That being said, Vinnie Guidera & the Dead Birds released their debut LP last week which culminated in a release show. Unfortunately I couldn’t attend. But like I said before, these dudes are my friends so I’ve been to quite a few of their earlier performances. Bummed that I missed the show, I hopped over to Dimple Records to pick up my copy of the LP which also comes with a redeemable download code (righteous!). What comes next is a few thoughts now that I’ve spent some time with the record. It’s material that I’ve heard many times before in coffee shops all over midtown but it’s always interesting to hear the transition to the recorded format. Perhaps most impressively, this effort was entirely DIY and done VERY well. Just take a look at the clear “coke bottle” pressing.

FullSizeRender.jpg

Sweet Christmas, that looks good.

The subject matter is heavy. Loss is the reoccurring theme throughout; something instantly relatable and altogether very personal. Vinnie does a fantastic job keeping his songwriting very sincere, leaving the record feeling intimate (no homo) and full of character. You start and end each song feeling like you’re listening to Vinnie’s experience instead of another’s. Vinnie also doesn’t shy away from his influences (I especially enjoy during his live performances when the band will cover The Misfits-Skulls). On certain songs I’ll pick up a little David Bazan. But in the end, Vinnie will always write and sound like Vinnie. The Deadbirds (Ian and Kevin) sound fantastic. It’s hard to believe that this was recorded in someone’s living room. You could tell on certain moments that Ian really gets to have fun. His symbols especially shine though the mix adding lushness and warmth. Kevin compliments Vinnie perfectly, providing the bottom end to wrap the compositions up. Sonically speaking, the recording leaves a healthy amount of attack so the guys seem right there next to you. Honestly, that’s right where you’d want to be (no homo).

All in all, the LP is impressive. For such heavy material, the record leaves you feeling hopeful. Vinnie helps you reflect on your own experience by giving you a window into his own. You feel ready to go forth and make new memories, make new mistakes and do the whole LIFE thing. Great job, guys.

Here’s a link to their bandcamp where you can download the album or get the LP which comes with the DL code.

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