CD Review – Birds Of Tokyo

Birds Of Tokyo EP review
Review by Leo Abbs

When it comes to bands who have members in other bands,they often get a lot more coverage because of who they are, rather than what they sound like. People like to throw the supergroup tag around in situations like this (in this case, this group has Ian from karnivool and the rhythm section from Tragic Delicate) but I disagree with that label. Despite good tunes and popularity in Perth they aren’t in superband category yet- perhaps if they were playing to crowds of 30,000 rather than 300 it would be a different story.

This release fits under the pop/rock category. The band has potential not just through contacts but because it has a commercial sound to it. Particularly in the instance of the first song ‘Russian Roulette’ where the verse sounds like something you’ve heard on 96fm. The chorus in that tune is fantastic and very catchy. The music also dips into acoustic guitars on track 3 which is also quite radio friendly.

As you listen to more of the cd, it steers away slightly from that sound, but still has a pop rock vibe only a little darker. The songs begin to blend in to each other, and while the rhythm section is superb, the guitar skills don’t match Karnivool’s. It’s definitely the vocal melodies that make the band what it is. And indeed after a few listens it’s hard to get the hooks out of your head.

Birds of Tokyo’s debut shows promise, but it’s hard to say whether the songwriting will progress to a higher level (as hinted at on the final track) on future releases, or just hit a rut and end in bland rock tunes. Though for a first release it’s definitely up there.

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