Sometimes I think I know some shit, like the Night Birds demo which has sat on my computer since last November and not getting very many plays, and then later I find out I don't really know anything, like when I saw Night Birds at Whitney House a couple of nights ago and they were so flat-out awesome that you almost wouldn't believe it. And much like everybody else these days, there's some '81 O.C. punk worship going on with Night Birds (dig up an old copy of Agent Orange "Bloodstains" and you'll get the idea), but it doesn't stop there. Joe Birds (aka Joe Erg), of course, is an untouchable bass player-- you already knew that going in-- but there's almost no way to describe the guitar player, Mike Hunchback, who spent most of the night playing on his back on the floor, spitting out incredibly intricate "Miserlou"-like guitar lines like a deranged Joe Baiza, only sped-up really fast and aggressive so that it sounded like hardcore. Meanwhile there's the singer, Brian, who totally looks like a young Keith Morris/Ron Reyes-type, contorting and twisting around everywhere. Truly an amazing band, if not the best punk band you'll ever see in 2010 or beyond.
There probably aren't too many bands who'd be able to follow up a set like that, but Estrogen Highs happen to be the best band in CT right now, so they were up to the task. This was seriously the best set I've ever seen from them, even better than the first time I saw them at Whitney House with Cheap Time and they almost leveled the place. Maybe everyone was still hyped up from Night Birds, maybe it was the beer cans that someone kept throwing at them (some kind of joke I hope), but this was about as aggressive as I can ever remember them being. "Thinkin' of My Health" was the perfect opener, "The World Has Problems Too" and "Logical Doctor" were near-violent, and they absolutely tore through their Big Boys cover, "Red/Green" (Night Birds did a Big Boys cover, as well). Supposedly Estrogen Highs have some new songs recorded which I've been told are great, but the only song I didn't recognize was something they played at the very end, when Stefan tossed the mic stand at the crowd and kept shouting something that sounded like "so what, so what". Maybe once someone explains it to me I'll feel like a complete idiot, but it looked pretty cool.
Night Birds have two new 7"-ers which came out literally the day of the show (in fact, Brian was still assembling some of them when I first walked through the door)-- a 5-song EP on Grave Mistake with hand-stamped covers, and a single on Art of the Underground, "Killer Waves", which is probably their best song so far. Both records come with digital downloads (the AOTU single actually comes with a CD-R), but these are my own vinyl rips, which admittedly don't sound as good as the downloads so you should make sure that you buy the records anyway.
Estrogen Highs -
"The World Has Problems Too"
(all of these files are now listen-only)