Thursday 26 September 2013

Brave Bird - Ready Or Not EP

You know, I don't just like heavy music. I appreciate melodic music too, especially punk and emo. I thought I'd kill a bit of time by writing about an EP that came out a while ago. It was the first recorded output of Ann Arbor punk/indie/emo band Brave Bird, which came to my attention when I got an e-mail telling me they'd signed with Count Your Lucky Stars Records. I didn't know too much about the band itself, but I knew if they were on the CYLS roster, they must be pretty good. Brave Bird have recently released a new album, but I felt it would be a good idea to start from the beginning.


1. Scared Enough
2. Healthy
3. The Worst Things Happen To Me
4. Tired Enough
5. See You Next Year.

Starting off with some great twinkly guitar, Brave Bird sound pretty dreamy as they settle into EP opener Scared Enough. The vocals are mixture of softly sung vocals and louder harmonies. It kind of reminds me of Deja Entendu era Brand New. The song is mid-paced but full of emotion and energy. The drums are understated and sit in the background. The distant vocals in the mid section are great, especially when all the voices are in unison and the guitar is lightly playing alongside them. Brave Bird is only a three-piece but when they're playing their more raucous passages, they make a lot of noise. 

Healthy is equally as moving as Scared Enough. The guitar work weaves some great melodies into the music and counterbalances the vocals, which sometimes tread into screamo territory, without losing coherence. This is definitely he music for you, if you've had a hard at the coalface and just want to wind down. I've seen Brave Bird described as indie but I think that indie as a genre is really staid and formulaic compared to the music that Brave Bird creates.

Like UK counterparts Crash of Rhinos, I think that Brave Bird are a bit of a revelation. The fact that their music is so simple, yet math at the same time. They don't overdo the strange time signatures and keep things melodic, instead of distorting the hell out of it. The meandering rhythms and calm atmosphere during The Worst Things Happen To Me illustrate the previous points pretty well too. Those gang-style vocal melodies bring themselves back during the awesome Tired Enough. This song really makes me want to dig out my old early 00’ emo records. You know the ones that were good and not just overpaid, manufactured Americans wearing make-up! The whole package just seems to get better and Brave Bird finishes the song on a high with all the elements of the band coming together.

Closer, See You Next Year leaves you with one final punk hymn. It's acoustic as well, with just the guitar and vocals to keep you company. Somehow, Brave Bird seem more stirring in this guise, thanks to their soaring tones during the choruses. Some people may think that the singing is slightly off key at times, but it is a demo and Brave Bird are playing from the heart, so I'm sure you can forgive that. Ready or Not is five songs brimming with character and sincerity. What more could you want.

Listen to it here and drift off:-

The EP is available digitally from the bandcamp page above, either for free from the mediafire link embedded in the page or for $5.

As far as I can tell, there are no physical copies available.

Brave Bird Facebook -

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