[8 October 2008]
Lots of images come to mind when one hears the band name Tweak Bird. Slobberbone had the same problem. There is a fear that is inescapable. Pushing play alone can induce the sweats. However, if you can get past that, Tweak Bird is a real treat. The Bird brothers’ latest offering, Reservations, is less jam and far more funk than your average “book cover judge” might guess.
Opening with “Shivers”, the Los Angeles-based two-person outfit makes it clear that eardrums may be the first victim of Reservations. The guitar is pure P-Funk, but at a decibel you may not recognize. “Whorses” is almost hypnotic, with its simple rhythm layered on top of a scathing guitar. Lyrics are not the selling point with the Bird Brothers. Noise is. But on Reservations, the originality makes the noise worthwhile. Whereas some two-person rock bands have dissolved (Deadboy and the Elephantmen) and others have surrendered to the world’s need for James Bond theme songs, Tweak Bird has continued to push the limits of sonic landscape. They are nothing if not daring.
“Favorite Son” sounds as if Tom Morello dropped into the studio to lend a hand, while “Eternal Squaredance” opens like a b-side from Wilco’s Yankee Hotel Foxtrot before the bottom drops out to reveal an X-like rock anthem. Every turn on Reservations is a surprise. At seven tracks it is gone before you know it, but it is just enough to keep you intrigued with what Tweak Bird will do next.