Catherine Avenue

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Biirdie are a group that proudly calls Los Angeles home and drop many local references in their lyrics, even if the bandmembers are all from elsewhere and their sense of the city remains that of immigrants. "LA Is Mars" is the title of one song, and singer Jared Flamm (usually accompanied by harmony vocalist Kala Savage) seems to mean that, if in a nice way. Although the music has obvious antecedents in the Beach Boys, Fleetwood Mac, and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, Biirdie also bring in other influences, notably a taste of Grateful Dead-like psychedelia (listen to the start of the six-minute "I'm Gonna Tell You Something") and, largely due to the timbre of Flamm's voice, the Kinks. It is inescapable that Flamm sounds like a Ray Davies who hasn't slept in a couple of nights, and when the band introduces a country-rock feel on "Estelle," for example, it comes off like something from Muswell Hillbillies. But despite the influences, Biirdie have a whimsical appeal all their own. It sounds like they would benefit from better production, which would help them to realize the sophisticated pop/rock to which they aspire, but even in their indie manifestation they realize many of their ambitions.

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