Byrds of Paradise - Teenage Symphonies [12-inch] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Byrds of Paradise

Teenage Symphonies [12-inch] (2011)

Don Giovanni

Byrds of Paradise started strong with their Omega Man 7" single, and they end strong with their only full-length, Teenage Symphonies. During the band's short stint together, they managed a snotty, lo-fi punk sound that seemed fairly realized out of the gate. On Teenage Symphonies, the band drown their tunes in fuzz and set back the distant vocals as far back as possible, creating a purposely scuzzy form of pop in the process.

The LP's got a "retro now" vibe that sits well with contemporaries like Wavves and No Age–at least, the latter's more accessible moments. Their influences definitely seem to run a similarly wide gamut, with subtle touches of the respective eras of acts like the Modern Lovers and Sonic Youth livening up the record. Hell, "Touch Tunnel" even seems to swipe the vocal melody from the Smiths' "Ask".

A restrained sort of joy runs through the album too, from the dissonant melodies and male/female vocal smearing in "Paradise, D.C." to the rare hook infiltrating "Broadcast News" and making it a standout (dig its fuzz-blasted Talking Heads sample at the end, too). Even if the record's tone is purposely rough, the band's rugged playfulness is clear, front and center at every turn.

Short and sweet, Byrds of Paradise weren't around long, but they left a nice mark with Teenage Symphonies.

Touch Tunnel
Paradise, D.C.