National Bird: The Rhythm Of Our Science EP Review
National Bird are a band that are easy to like right off the bat. The band that I continued to reference when listening to their new EP, The Rhythm of Our Science, was Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. Not necessarily because they sounded just like them (although their fleshed out americana are somewhat similar), but mostly in the fact that they are easy to like. So much so that I could see people making that a bad thing. The production on the record is crisp, the melodies are tight and the presentation makes you feel like you know the band the instant they kick into their songs. This worries me. Easy access can often lead me to get bored with a band and I have often found that my all time favorite albums are ones that proved inaccessible to me on first blush. I am not sure if National Bird will fall victim to this conundrum, but the first few spins of The Rhythm of Our Science finds a band that I could see gaining some real traction in the local scene.
The five songs on the EP are all classic American indie rock and roll. Starting with the breezy track “In Summer,” the group storm through the five song record in quick and precise fashion. “Fixin It” is the kind of well rounded, keyboard driven pop that fans of local group the Alarmists would find right up their alley. The rest of the songs feature the kind of part alt country/part REM style indie rock that should by all inclination be well received in a scene that seems to eat this stuff up. “Poor Rock and Roll,” the charging “Physical Fitness” and the wistful “You’re a Liar” round out the EP, which should prove to have nearly infinite repeat value for fans of the groups style of music.
While I don’t know if the initial gleam of the record will wear off, the new (at least as far as I know) group has a confident, well rounded sound that really comes across well on The Rhythm of Our Science. Your experience with the album will most likely be shaped your perception coming in. If you are a fan of airtight pop music with sharp melodies that you are humming before the track is even over, The Rhythm of Our Scienceis probably going to be in heavy rotation for you. If you like you music a little rougher around the edges and less accessible, you probably would roll your eye through this five song EP. Either way, National Bird have a sound that I am fairly certain will resonate strongly with a scene that still for all accounts revolves around the Jayhawks and the ‘Mats, so whether you like them or not, expect to hear more from National Bird in the future.