In a scene where overly masculine manly men bands breed like rat and somehow seem to all land a record deal (while of course still staying true to their “crews”), Birds In Row is somewhat of an anomaly. They reside out of the stylistically strict boundaries that decide what is popular in hardcore, do not, even once, mention their crew, and yet are still widely recognized among the hardcore scene as a band to watch. That is, of course, due to the fact that Birds In Row consistently puts out subgenre defying, emotionally intense music rooted in hardcore, giving everyone a reason to listen.
As stated before, Birds In Row is most certainly your average, breakdown abusing, hardcore band. Instead, the band swaps those boring cliches in favor of blasts of emoviolence and neo-crust influence, creating a sound as dark and riff heavy as His Hero Is Gone, but as moody and frantic as Pg.99. That sound is still well defined on this split, but also takes a step further into the direction of “melodic hardcore” bands such as Modern Life Is War as Birds In Row focus not so much on the initial attack and reverberations, but more so on well defined melody lines that follow after and allow their lyrical and vocal prowess to shine through. Take, for example, their last track on this record, “Can’t Love.” The initial kick distinguishes it as a Birds In Row song is there, but quickly it calms down into a more relaxed mood where a melody heavy lead guitar part shines through and makes it more memorable then quick bursts of anger.
As for the other half of the split, if you are already a fan of Birds In Row, the listener should not be disappointed. WAITC takes a similar approach to the earlier Birds In Row sound, that is powerful, heavy hitting initiations falling into dark, haunting melodies, but truly end up much closer to modern neo-crust wonder kids, xFLOWERS OF CARNAGEx. This is a band that understands what it means to push the boundaries of what is allowed to be called hardcore before even the skramz kids get sick of it, and are all the better for it. Every attack drives into the listener, leaving them breathless, and little time to catch their breath, before diving straight back in with another metal leaning emoviolence riff. WAITC, though they are a relatively young, are powerful, and completely unafraid to push boundaries and throw their weight around a bit.
Overall, the two bands play off each other phenomenally, stylistically similar enough to allow the split to flow as a coherent whole, but just different enough to keep the listener actively engaged. Both bands understand what it means to make truly unique, interesting hardcore, and as they push further into unexplored territory, are rewarded handsomely for it in the way of interesting, varied songs. Hopefully this split also serves an indication of what is to come from WAITC, as after hearing it, it is clear that they will soon be appearing on every good crust punk/skramz kid worth their credibility’s jacket.
Birds In Row/WAITC’s Split gets…