The Uniter - November 4, 2004
There is a phenomenal amount of great music coming off of the prairies these
days, and a whole lot of it is being made by the creative minds of those affiliated
with the Teargas Recording Tree. Between Saskatoon and Winnipeg, members
of these bands are forging far from the beaten path, blending styles and
re-interpreting influences to create new sounds that, while paying respect
to the sources, still manage to sound fresh. No Birds fits perfectly
into this mould.
Based in Saskatoon, the band is comprised of ten members, all of whom are
in high school. These talented multi-instrumentalists weave dense, melodic
soundscapes that effortlessly meld a wide variety of genres into a cohesive
whole. Complex structures and dynamics, and a very balanced interplay
of instruments keep the songs interesting throughout, and thematic variations
(crashing-mellow-crashing) create a palpable tension that only increases
the listener's involvement.
While the rhythmic foundation is sold (check track 1), what really sets
these guys apart is the informed use of both horns and strings to create
an atmosphere that really does defy catagorization. Most of the songs
are multi-sectioned instrumental pieces, but there are a few choice vocal
tracks, particularly track 6, 'How can I say "I love you" after hearing you
say "I love you,"' which features a beautiful harmonized vocal.
There is something a little raw about this album, but it only serves to
enhance the overall feeling of an unhurried,
almost improvisational, process at work.
As a first attempt at capturing the feel of this band, this album is fantastic.
Especially considering the relative youth of the members, if this is any indication
of their potential, they will be a potent force before too long.