The Messenger Birds follow in the footsteps and The Black Keys, The White Stripes and Royal Blood, two blokes making a lot of noise (“That’s not a rock band, that’s just two guys!” they cite “some guy named Kevin” as saying on their Bandcamp page). Like Jack White, they’re from Detroit, Michigan.
The album opens with Play Dead, a cracker to open with. Repetitive guitar and vocals then impressive John Bonham-esque drums. Phantom Limb combines rock with dance, a more shuffling beat than the opener. Self-Destruct is slower and more riffy, Honest Lies a heads down rocker with a hypnotic riff. The title track has something of the dark sound of QOTSA but with synth and a very hooky chorus. The also do slow, with When You’ve Had Enough.
Despite The Black Keys (us) or Queens of the Stone Age (them) comparisons, they remind us more of Secret Machines, the loudest band we ever saw, for the solid sound, and Pendulum, the Australian drum and bass band; it’s not drum and bass but it’s loud and The Messenger Birds are as much into synths as guitar.
It’s lacking a killer track and we ended up liking it a little less than we thought we would, but it’s good fun, loud and with lots of melody.
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