The Birds are sort of a Euro-psycho-noise-rock supergroup, a duo consisting of Cotton Casino (of Acid Mothers Temple) and Per Gisle Galaen (of Slowburn). Since forming in 2003 the pair has toured both Japan and Europe and released several limited-edition live recordings, but this is their first formally released studio recording. You would expect the sounds to be weird, and you'd be right, though there isn't really anything particularly pioneering or groundbreaking here. On "Green to Me," wordless (and borderline tuneless) female vocals are set to a gently meandering accompaniment; "Beethoven's Women" features muttering male vocals with a more assertive instrumental accompaniment with strange noises; "In the Name of the River" is actually quite pretty, incorporating both simple guitar arpeggios and ocean sounds; and "Donkeys" is a five-minute-long burst of horrific guitar skronk run through what sounds like either a compressor or some really gnarly equalization. The album's longest track is also, unfortunately, its least interesting: "Human Play" is an epic journey into ambient noise and found sound that ends up sounding like an outtake from Fred Frith's Speechless. Put the cat outside before turning this one on.
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AllMusic Review by Rick Anderson