Slick production, vocal synthesizers and flashy clothes have made the music world a convoluted mess just waiting to be cleaned up. Even Tony Soprano and his “waste management” business couldn’t clean up the mess that popular music has placed upon our society. That is why it is so refreshing to hear the emerging band Bird 3 and their vibrant, raw rock that focuses on turning up the amps and refusing to conform to anything other than solid songwriting and original melodies.


Bird 3 recently released their self-titled debut LP and DVD that features music videos and documentary footage. The 13-song album was recorded at A & M Studios in Los Angeles before the band traveled to Monkeyboy Studio for the mixing process. The result is a stunning selection of tracks that seems to take on a life of its own while pulling listeners further and further into the musical landscape the band creates.


The self-titled debut LP kicks off with the catchy melody “Fit,” which shifts from muted punk chords to well-placed guitar solos and beautiful, soft interludes that give the song a great deal of texture. The song acts as an appetizer for the rest of the album as it samples each style of rock that is hit upon in the remainder of the collection.


Arguably the most rocking and straight-ahead track on the album is “Mess,” which has been getting significant airplay at stations all over the country. With larger-than-life vocals and unbridled enthusiasm, lead singer Bird follows the melodic five-chord introduction with dark lyrics.


“Forgot Your Name” deals with the troubles of returning home after a long time and finding out things can never be the way that one remembers them.


One of the most punk rock tracks on the album is “Girl Next Door,” which combines pop sensibility with heavy, loud guitars. The song will likely find a strong audience when the band embarks on the punk-dominated Warped Tour this summer.


“Air Crisp” is built on a great melody that draws the listener closer to his speakers while the multi-faceted track dips and climbs, constantly keeping the listener on his toes. Thick guitar chords and ambience-inducing solos make the song a gem on this breakout record.


Just when you think the guys in Bird 3 can’t fly any higher, “Indoor,” a track that plays like the soul of this band, begins. Clocking in at 7:41, the track would have been an excellent selection as a final song but, nonetheless, the track draws on the softness that makes Bird 3 sensitive and accessible.


Bird 3 has proven they have the talent and the gift of songwriting necessary to make it in the music business by constantly asserting their versatility and integrity. Their debut is one of the most raw, heartfelt records of the year.

GRADE: A