[Review] The Guten Birds – Things what may happen on your planet

A little over six months after their first appearance at South By Southwest, the Guten Birds gifted fans of their music a new album. Things what may happen on your planet was the perfect way to reintroduce audiences to the power behind their brand of punk. The sound is rugged sweetness like rock candy, and with this, their first full-length offering, the taste and texture of the music is more fully formed and brilliant.

The album begins strong, setting a pace that leaves the pulse running hot. From there, Things what may happen… is most certainly a carnival of ups, downs, twisted mirrors, and space-age roller coasters. The Guten Birds make music I can just swim in. Tracks like “Throbbing NIght” and “The Night SIgnal” hold me mesmerized, make my head light. There’s such euphoria behind their music, something that intrinsically leaves the listener floating. The construction of each song is as powerful as the musicianship. You’re softly caressed into the album, given loving attention as if each note was played especially for the listeners. I’ll always have a soft spot for track “Across the Black Tunnel,” it’s remastered version on this album bringing just that added layer of depth that digs deeper into my soul. So I was more than ecstatic to see it found a place on this album.

However, despite a melodious composition that pervades most of the album, there’s undeniable grit in every song. A throbbing scratch at the core of the each track compliments of Seo-hyun’s steady bass thump, the heavy canto of Mui’s drums, and the snarl in Mohho’s voice. Don’t mistake the lilt and sway of their melodies for softness. These ladies are all rough angles and growling energy. With the cautionary warble in track “Readiness” to set it up, “Sailing Out” wraps tightly around the backbone, at first being a slow, sinister crawl up the spine, then a violent jerk to the right as the composition picks up speed and chugs to its conclusion. Mohho proclaims—at first with a bit of reticence, then with a pounding certainty—”I won’t change my mind” as the song continues it’s winding rampage to the finale note.

Despite many of the songs extending beyond five minutes—a couple of the more band jam tunes stretching out to over eight—there’s not a moment where the listener is jarred out of the experience. Each song is a maze, a hypnotic journey between notes, instruments, and voices. It could be very easy for the tracks to become overextended, overindulgent jam sessions for the sake of getting out some noise in the brain (which I wouldn’t actually mind, if I’m being honest). But the women of the Guten Birds are very meticulous even as their songs stretch and pull at the listener’s imagination.

Most certainly, Things what may happen on your planet really is an exploration of the phenomena that surround us, short quips about the madness in our lives to stretched-out moments of starlight and emotion. There’s most definitely a feeling of something ethereal on this album, something that reaches out beyond the meat of the earth and flies outward, kissing the sky.

As one may come to expect from these ladies, there’s a quiet chaos in every one of their songs. At any moment the glut of energy seething between each note could spill over and inevitably explode. The amount of control they show, the restraint is a testament to their exceptional musicianship.

Rating 4.25/5

Please purchase Things what may happen on your planet on the band’s Bandcamp and on iTunes.

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Tracklist:

  1. Somewhere Anywhere
  2. Song of Waves
  3. Throbbing Night
  4. The Night Signal
  5. Readiness (Sailing Out prelude)
  6. Sailing Out
  7. Kill Bill or Melancholy Moon
  8. Wounded Walk
  9. Rolling in the Air
  10. Across the Black Tunnel (Remastered)
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