October 29, 2013 - Equal Vision
On A Lot Like Birds’ second album, the Sacramento, California, six-piece have taken the everything-goes approach they used on their debut, Conversation Piece, and worked meticulously to carefully rein it in—almost had you there. Nope, the band are still a maelstrom of screechy vocals and kinetic riffing one minute, and then an epic, noodling prog band the next. It’s like the Blood Brothers hunkered down in Rush's panic room with Coheed And Cambria banging frantically on the iron door while fending off ravenous screamo zombies.
Co-vocalists Kurt Travis (ex-Dance Gavin Dance) and Cory Lockwood again trade back and forth, relentlessly carving out a tumultuous vibe that meshes well with songs that often sound end-of-worldly. The band’s ability to mix different musical styles into their songs are beyond compare in their circle of screamo peers: album closer “Shaking Of The Frame” goes all flamenco on us, then switches into an ambient soundscape during its almost-seven-minute duration.
Using the theme of “home” and the struggle of trying desperately to get back to it, No Place is equally paranoid, claustrophobic and desperate. Ambient noise, syncopated spoken word, electronics, deep bass throb, effects pedals up the yazoo and even some African drumming: wait, did we mention that’s all in one song (“No Nature”)? There’s a ton to decipher, and A Lot Like Birds are definitely one of the most ambitious screamo bands we’ve heard. Leave lots and lots of time to process this album.