Radio Birdman

Record review

Phases & Stages

Radio Birdman

Zeno Beach (Yep Roc)

Sydney, Australia, 1974: two med students, one an Ann Arbor native christened on the Stooges and MC5, hook up with a surfer, an experienced rhythm section, and a second guitarist. "Aloha Steve & Danno" then shot the curl of punk rock history. 2001 essential, Sub Pop's Radio Birdman, The Essential (1974-1978), leading with "Aloha," misses only the group's rabid Roky Erickson cover, "You're Gonna Miss Me." Zeno Beach, Birdy's first album since disbanding prior to the release of their second LP, gushes Motor City like two years not 25 have passed since the last disc. Rob Younger's tunnel vox still spits the backspray of Deniz Tek's Epiphone echo and Chris Masuak's shadowy riffs, though with new millennial production, the singer's thick-y sweet recalls the Cure's Robert Smith. Melodic bomp, such as "Die Like April," tolls like the UK's second wave, especially "Heyday," opening with, "Who were you in your heyday? Did you blow-up, or lose your face?" Reaching daylight on opener "We've Come So Far (To Be Here Today)," cement truck follow-up "You Just Make It Worse," and the combustible "Connected," Zeno Beach shimmies 10 minutes too long, and 4:20 short of Tek's Silver Surfer perfection, "Descent Into the Maelstrom." Dominance! Sub-mission.

***

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More Music Reviews
Texas Platters
... And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead
X: The Godless Void and Other Stories (Record Review)

Alejandra Ramirez, Feb. 21, 2020

Texas Platters
Daniel Johnston
Chicago 2017 (Record Review)

Raoul Hernandez, Feb. 21, 2020

More by Raoul Hernandez
Checking In: Ley Line Needs Their Sisterhood
Ley Line Needs Their Sisterhood
“This has been a curve ball to test our abilities”

July 7, 2020

New Austin Music Worth Your Bandwidth This Week
New Austin Music Worth Your Bandwidth This Week
Our favorite albums, videos, and performances

July 3, 2020

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle