If you were to mix The Beach Boys and The Ramones in a blender with a decent splash of English seaside fish and chips, the cocktail you’d probably make would be Two Wounded Birds. Following in the same vintage retromania vein that defines current music, Two Wounded Birds have taken their own distinct detour by bypassing 1980s synthpop and instead settling for good old fashioned rock and roll. This is music for leather jackets and cool shades; you can leave your neons at the door.
Discovered by The Drums in 2010, Two Wounded Birds have spent the last two years releasing a trickle of singles and EPs here and there, playing support shows for bands you may never have heard of and generally doing the underground thing. They’re still pretty under the radar (signed only to Holiday Records, owned by their patrons The Drums), but now we can finally get our hands on something a little more concrete, a 12-track LP.
Bursting with often checked energy, Two Wounded Birds opens with “Together Forever”, an almost childishly simply, yet brilliantly executed rocker. The album fails to keep this upbeat mood throughout and most of the tracks – with the exception of “Daddy’s Junk”, a one and half minute tumble through the 12-bar blues – are tinged with melancholy and regret. Frontman Johnny Danger (yes that’s his name) sings “I’m No Saviour” not without sincerity. From the greyscale cover art to the black jeans, this is dark music – not in the way you might describe a deathcore doom metal album, but the way you would describe a gig when the strobes and lasers switch off and it’s just the spotlight and a hushed crowd.
While firmly planted in the retro trend, Two Wounded Birds are not just another band ready to be forgotten, but a band doing something different. Right down to the swaggering stage names and dark shades, their music is unquestionably unique. It’s clear they’re only scratching the surface of the goldmine beneath their feet. And currently, they’re the only claimants.By Chris Bennigsen