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Exemplary of this band’s voracious energy and their healthy appetite for classic rock n roll is opening track ‘Together Forever’. It is two minutes of unceasing vitality laden with insatiable guitar and lyrical hooks, and made all the more enticing by the youthful, chaste yearnings being extolled by front man Johnny Danger. As this song comes to its crisp end I defy you, firstly, not to instantly listen to it again, and then be ravenous for the rest of this album.
The flipside to the skiffle high jinks of tracks like ‘Together Forever,’ ‘To Be Young’ and ‘It’s Not Up To You’ is the band’s brooding surf jams. Although The Beach Boys are a clear and chief influence on this band, the surf sounds that Two Wounded Birds brandish are of a distinctly overcast temperament. The ominous tones of ‘Night Patrol’ and ‘My Lonesome’ are a world away from the happy-go-lucky associations the surf genre generally carries, and allows the band to luxuriate in a reincarnation of surf music that is markedly their own. Their modern melancholia is similar in sentiment to that of The Drums, who, incidentally, were early supporters of the band as The Drums helped the band release their first EP in 2010 and took them on tour. However, the masterful and gorgeous misery of ‘If Only We Remain’ and ‘No Goodbyes’ are plain indicators that Two Wounded Birds have surpassed their patrons, and it feels like Johnny Danger is wasting his talents and time moonlighting as a guitarist for The Drums as he is arguably made for front man fame.
Two Wounded Birds are more than another new guitar band on the block; they are anachronistic rock n roll purists free of pretension or gimmicks, whose short, sharp compositions (which rarely venture past the three and a half minute mark) vary between being infectious and haunting through the simple but vital virtue of out-and-out great melodies and hooks. And although their obvious USP is their retro nod to surf pop, we would not dream of tarnishing them with the “summer band” label. And just as a dog is for life, not just for Christmas, good surf music is for life, not just for summer.