With Thunderbirds Are Now!, ex-Red Shirt Brigade drummer Ryan Allen returned to his guitar/vocal roots, having previously led Remington's post-punk attack. From the opening chaos of "Nice Hair, Hope It Wins," the Michigan quartet thrives on its unique musical approach and Allen's frantic vocals. Guitarist Marty Smith, bassist Joe Wendt, and drummer Mike Durgan round out the group, each adding their own weighty sound to the mix. The frenzied guitar attack continues on the disc's second track, "Crux of Mr. B," a scorching and playful display of youthful exuberance. Throughout the seven songs on the disc, the band thrives on experimentation and unbridled enthusiasm for musical improvisation, with a seething disregard for clichés and formulaic patterns. On "Wordstramental," Allen repeats the line, "I've been meaning to get my feet wet this time," as the band's fiery arrangement reaches its peak. Allen and Smith chant in unison on "Aqua-Sock Hop," possibly the catchiest anthem of the disc. "Fancy Monopoly" closes out the band's self-titled debut with more of the same: unpredictable stops and starts combined with Allen's relentless microphone aerobics. Although not officially a member of the band at the time, Allen's brother, Scott Allen, appears on keyboards and joined the band soon after the album's release, as Wendt left the band and Smith took over on bass. Recorded at Allen's own Our Leisure Studio, Suburban Sprawl Records released the disc in 2002.
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