By ROB DUGUAY One understated result of COVID-19 is how it has made time for creative types to get more things done. Whether out of necessity or for a hobby, artists are making more art pieces, writers and poets are having more of their work published,
One understated result of COVID-19 is how it has made time for creative types to get more things done. Whether out of necessity or for a hobby, artists are making more art pieces, writers and poets are having more of their work published, and musicians are putting out more records.
With many folks being out of a job because of the pandemic, it makes sense to be productive in other ways. Providence garage punks Song Birds have embraced this by releasing their self-titled EP on Dec. 13.
It’s the third record guitarist and co-vocalist Damian Puerini, drummer and co-vocalist Matt Trap, guitarist Glen Quinette and organist Zack Brines have put out this year, with “The World’s Gone to [Expletive] Hell EP” coming out on Sept. 18 and the “TwentyTwenty EP” coming out on Sept. 30.
Much like “TwentyTwenty,” the self-titled EP was recorded by Jared Mann at Distorted Forest Studios in North Smithfield back in January, while Keith Souza and Seth Manchester handled the mastering duties at Machines With Magnets in Pawtucket. Unlike the band’s previous two records, the latest one is being released as a 7-inch vinyl while also being available as a digital stream and download.
“We thought these five songs went together well,” Puerini, a Cranston native, says about the self-titled EP. “Mostly it was the combination of song lengths to fit as much as we could because we really wanted a 7-inch pressed. Having a 7-inch out was a common goal among the four of us, probably the only common goal. We’re also very happy with how it sounds.”
Trap created the vision for the complex cover art, while East Providence artist Ty Paulhus made the design for it. There’s a colorful assortment of flowers, trees, cacti, deer, volcanoes, spaceships, a planet that looks like a combination of Earth and Saturn and a flying bus, among other things.
“The cover art is just a mash-up of every sort of fictional thing I’m into, plus four handsome white guys and their gear ranging from vintage cool to vintage cheap crap,” Trap says about the cover of the EP. “Because it’s on vinyl, it makes it real. It’s a great way to spend a few minutes.”
None of the songs on the record last more than 2½ minutes, but the amount of intensity that’s conveyed makes these short bursts of punk resonate with the senses. “Siren Song” and “Brooklyn Tarts” highlight Trap’s drumming, while Trap sings during the former and Puerini sings during the latter.
Brines’s organ skills are at the forefront in both “Creeps” and “Robbery.” His instrumentation gives off a cryptic sound as if you’re trapped in a 1950s horror flick.
Trap’s vocals have a mystifying echo in “Irish Goodbye” that supplies a unique element that separates the track from the others. Overall, it’s the perfect rageful record to turn up while releasing the stress and anguish that 2020 brought upon all of us.
If you’re into punk rock, then Song Birds are your kind of band. It’s also pretty cool that an act this talented is based in your backyard.
Hopefully when this pandemic is over and done with, Puerini, Trap, Quinette and Brines can play someone’s actual backyard. Until then, stream, download or purchase the new EP on vinyl via the band’s Bandcamp site, songbirdspvd.bandcamp.com.