Sick Sick Birds - Gates of Home [12-inch] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Sick Sick Birds

Gates of Home [12-inch] (2012)

Toxic Pop Records

What makes Gates of Home, and by association just about all of Sick Sick Birds' output when you get down to it, so winning is that it treads that delicate line between punk and indie rock. Gates of Home is a great meeting point of subgenres, a '90s throwback without feeling like a knowingly '90s throwback record, a nice complement to those of us who have been digging on the Sidekicks' latest effort.

"Pick and Choose" sets the tone, wonderfully. Like a lot of indie and punk rock bands, Sick Sick Birds essentially write one kind of song, but it's a good one. This track has a rollicking, bouncy beat and some nice snotty--but not too snotty--guy/gal vocals that explode on the hooky chorus. If you're looking for reliable four-on-the-floor stompers that split the difference between Armalite, Cursive and Lemonheads, Sick Sick Birds prove up to the task, gloriously so.

That being said, Gates of Home gets a little repetitive around the three-quarter mark. The record only contains 11 tracks, so any bit of homogeneity can hold it back. Gates is a good record, but it never quite jumps to that next level, greatness. These tunes are agreeable, but they blur together after a while. Still, there's nothing with being agreeably good. Beside, once the Birds really get rolling, like on the awesomely grainy, horn-laden "Olive," Gates stands out as a stellar, fun release. Starts strong, finishes strong, falters in the middle, but there's still fun to be had.