It’s fascinating to learn how much the once humble UK fishing village of Brighton has changed. Particularly from the end of the 18th century when the coastal town was an attraction for the upper classes to bathe and socialise in the temperate seawater. However, these days making as bigger splash, are the strangely titled ‘Birdeatsbaby,’ a rock band with a penchant for dark, atmospheric, and cinematically inclined progressive music with maybe a little inspiration drawn from the nearby ‘Devils Dyke.’
The roots of the band was a musical union formed when ‘Mishkin Fitzgerald’ (Vocals, Piano, Accordion, Synths) met up with Garry Mitchell (guitar, bass, double bass) whilst both were studying music at the University of Brighton. The visionary but robust name ‘Birdeatsbaby’ being the product of ‘Mishkin’s vivid imagination following an extended bout of insomnia.
Typically, the band have evolved musically from their early days as punk-inspired glam outfit to current days as a much more serious collective, not only producing well-crafted songs but delivering them in a unique and exciting way.
From a musical perspective the first thing that grabs your attention is the overall richness of the sound and the sheer majesty of the production that resonates throughout the entire project with a mixture of styles and classic beauty. There is an abundance of various atmospheres created indeed it is a journey of epic propitiations, the flow of which takes you through a variety of different generic soundscapes. Cleverly moving seamlessly between the various tracks offering touches of classically inspired music to metal-influenced progressive rock and then the odd but subtle interventions of Cossack flavoured folk adding drama and movement. Drama is certainly a keyword because and although the music is undoubtedly delivered from the same group of musicians there is a distinctive feeling of metamorphosis as both the time changes and direction of the music switches constantly from one mood to another. Particularly noticeable is their combined strength as a musical unit.
There is too an abundance of instrumental flavourings which saturate the whole affair, beautifully melodic piano and keyboards, mixed with swathes of enchanting violin especially when casting a sweetness of tone over the top of thrusting guitar. The guitar, both lead and bass, of course with its many guises providing an overall energy and direction, the metal infusions of which are well considered very enjoyable and not laboriously overlong.
What can be said about the unique and effervescent voice of ‘Mishkin Fitzgerald’, a comment comparing her to Kate Bush on speed is humorous with a tiny sprinkling of truth maybe. But in reality she is a revelation, a star surely at the edge of discovery. But somehow I hope such an immanent discovery is in the bosom of ‘Birdeatsbaby’. Her vocal projection is totally amazing and the variation of singing styles is quite breathe- taking. It would be unfair on the rest of the band to proclaim her to be the focal point of the band but she is an inspirational front women and her personality certainly directs proceedings and the mood of the music. Apparently she had most of her musical training at church, being strongly influenced by hymns, classical music and later on, all things rock n roll.
Summary: An amazing band that cross over several genera but certainly they have a foot planted firmly in the progressive rock camp. They remind me very much of the UK band ‘Comus’ with their uniqueness and unparalleled energy and compositional strength
BIRDEATSBABY – THE WORLD CONSPIRES LINE UP :- Mishkin Fitzgerald – Vocals, Piano, Accordion, Synths Hana Maria – Violin, Cello, Vocals, Harp, Hurdy-Gurdy Garry Mitchell – Bass, Guitars, Vocals, Double Bass, Rhodes Organ Pablo Paracchino – Drums, Percussion, Flute, Saxophone
All songs written and arranged by Birdeatsbaby Painkiller - Christoph Klemke on cello Esmeralda - Simon Field on backing vocals Dido’s Lament - Feline Lang on vocals Kill No One - Gemma Uphill on clarinet Look Away - Gordon Vader on Phonofiddle
1. Hold Your Breath 02:01
2. Painkiller 05:04
3. ZeroFortyThree 06:19
4. The World Conspires 07:12
5. LadyGrey 05:18
6. How Do I 03:50
7. Box Of Razorblades 06:50
8. Esmerelda 05:18
9. Hurricane 02:18
10. Whisper 03:00
11. Ropes 05:27
12. Dido's Lament 03:02
13. Kill No One 04:01
14. Bad Blood 04:50
15. Look Away 03:20