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Brendan Kelly and the Wandering Birds - A Man With The Passion Of Tennessee Williams (Cover Artwork)

Brendan Kelly and the Wandering Birds

Brendan Kelly and the Wandering Birds: A Man With The Passion Of Tennessee WilliamsA Man With The Passion Of Tennessee Williams (2011)
Red Scare

Reviewer Rating: 2
User Rating:


Contributed by: SloaneDaleySloaneDaley
(others by this writer | submit your own)

I'm not even sure what this is. Well okay, I know this is the new side project of Brendan Kelly of Lawrence Arms and I'm pretty sure it is music. I am just completely baffled as to how this collection of songs fits together as a single unit or what BK's aims are with this release. The slow paced .
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I'm not even sure what this is. Well okay, I know this is the new side project of Brendan Kelly of Lawrence Arms and I'm pretty sure it is music. I am just completely baffled as to how this collection of songs fits together as a single unit or what BK's aims are with this release.

The slow paced title track sounds like a modern mainstream radio cock rock song, think "Animal" by Against Me!. The vocal melody still sounds like something from the Brendan Kelly playbook but the neutered guitar that sweeps in and out and the lifeless drums are like nothing that have graced the man's canon before. The background "oooo"s and "ahhhh"s and the annoying chorus feel like mocking imitations of the dynamic vocal interplay and hookiness of BK's main act. I'm really not sure what he was thinking when he made this EP."I'd Rather Die Than Live Forever" sounds like an undercooked Lawrence Arms demo with more of a classic rock guitar lead. It isn't just the production value that makes it feel like a demo, it just isn't that memorable a song. While it isn't great, it at least it makes sense in the context of his own body of work and that is something I suppose. It doesn't really make sense within this release as a whole though. "Suffer The Children Come Unto Me" is the real saving grace here; it is a sunny acoustic number that really complement's BK's voice in comparison to how silly he sounds on "A Man With The Passion Of Tennessee Williams" and how tiny he sounds thanks to the production on "I'd Rather Die Than Live Forever".

After listening to this release several times I'm still unsure what Brendan Kelly and the Wandering Birds are trying to do and maybe that shouldn't bother anyone. There are plenty of artists out there that blend varying styles into a concerted effort and this fails at that almost completely. This could all be forgiven if, taken individually, the songs on A Man With The Passion Of Tennessee Williams were great, but they aren't. When the Wandering Birds do eventually release a full-length I hope it doesn't feel like a random mess of songs thrown together.

 

 
People who liked this also liked:
Brendan Kelly and the Wandering Birds - I'd Rather Die Than Live ForeverThe Menzingers - Chamberlain WaitsFucked Up - David Comes to LifeThe Men - Open Your HeartSamiam - TripsElway - Hence My Optimism [7-inch]The Menzingers - The Obituaries b/w Burn After Writing [7-inch]None More Black - IconsElway - Passing DaysCobra Skulls - Agitations

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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
gugl0003 (January 20, 2012)

I actually don't mind this at all. First song reminds me a bit of the Afghan Whigs. Second song's production is a little balls, however.

Rodeo (January 12, 2012)

Either this is a joke, or Brendan Kelly went sober ala Metallica. Ugh.

preston (January 12, 2012)

I don't think it's so bad. I'd prefer a TLA album.

r3vengetherapy (January 12, 2012)

I'm not trying to troll or anything, but while I don't really like this aside from the last song, I'm inclined to give it some respect because he's doing something different instead of all the other punk band frontmen who just went acoustic. So tired of that trend, it's insane. I don't want to hear an LP of acoustic versions of songs I already like, plus some really boring originals. At least keep me interested, and the first track on this EP is definitely...interesting.

SloaneDaley (January 11, 2012)

@PatDreadful

I am just a pathetic and poor writer. I ask that my reviews not be edited on purpose. I don't believe in hiding my hackneyed and boorish prose. May I have permission to use your astute observations as a forward to my writing when I submit it to my professors? Just so that they know, before reading, that any attempts to observe my critism as something legitimate would be futile.

I bow to your succinct eloquence.

PatDreadful (January 11, 2012)

After several listens, I too, feel extremely underwhelmed by the EP. It lacks the urgency (both sonically and lyrically) of BKs previous output and seems to be a pretty confused release. The songs have no real identity which makes for a lackluster listening experience. I dont hate anything on the record but I cant see myself ever getting the urge to play this thing again. Its odd to contrast this with the Sundowner records which take the LA themes and spirit while presenting them in a completely different style- all with stellar results.

Also, does anyone edit these reviews? The lack of proper grammar and punctuation make this one of the most pathetic attempts at a thoughtful review that I have ever read.

irish_punk_is_gimmickry (January 11, 2012)

best part about this is that so many people are bummed on it, lol...........GG lives!!!!

telegraphrocks (January 10, 2012)

"This sucks, like every Lawrence Arms side project except maybe The Falcon."
So... Sundowner?

telegraphrocks (January 10, 2012)

Terrible. After almost 20 years of awesome music, he finally decided to release something shitty.
Hopefully the full-length strokes my boner.

jacknife737 (January 10, 2012)

Fanboy or not, i still dig the ep.

Suffer the Children is so much fun.

lostcausegiveup (January 10, 2012)

maybe i'm just a fanboy, but i dig this. i think the potential for an album with a bit of range definitely shows here. the first track does give me a weird NIN vibe at times, but i like it.

tsiege (January 10, 2012)

This review was spot on. I love BK, but this is terrible. I hope this was a joke.

wallofyouth (January 10, 2012)

maybe it's the opposite of a teaser -- poorly produced demos of undercooked songs to make you forget all expectations for the full-length so you listen with an open mind. like this is the palate cleanser. anyway yeah that third song is awesome

screamager (January 10, 2012)

It's not exactly LuLu beater but close.

EchosMyron (January 10, 2012)

This sucks, like every Lawrence Arms side project except maybe The Falcon.

Blackjaw_ (January 10, 2012)

I still think it's a joke, or a test of his fans' craziness.

eatbicycles (January 10, 2012)

"Im really not sure what he was thinking when he made this EP"

BK: I'm awesome.

Crowbells (January 10, 2012)

This review could have just been a comment saying "I don't like or understand this".

exitenglish1208 (January 10, 2012)

two stars for a piece of work from beex...yep it's the rapture folks

martinNZ09 (January 10, 2012)

When I first heard this I was not into it at all but after a few listens it definitely grew on me

publichousing (January 10, 2012)

The title track is the worst thing ever.

owneroperator (January 10, 2012)

review is pretty spot onr eally. the last song got it the extra half star from me. i wish all three songs where like it.

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