03.06.11 | Kyle
Eureka Birds - That Mountain Is A Volcano
Eureka Birds - There Was Light
It's been four days since I put the call out for straight-forward, even-keeled, unpretentious, honest pop rock. Apparently the indie rock gods heard my calls and graced me with the newest EP from Baltimore-based band Eureka Birds.
Eureka Birds have been poking around the Baltimore scene since 2006. Under the direction of frontman Justin Levy (who also plays solo shows as Eureka Bird) they released a self-titled debut album in 2008 and are back at it with the January release of the Eureka! EP.
The gents (and lady) of Eureka Birds work in the quieter spectrum of indie pop and I'm perfectly alright with that. The arrangements are lush and dramatic - filled with hushed melodies, orchestral flourishes, and catchy percussion. There's an understated ambition to these songs; none is content to simply be a slow, heartfelt ballad. They're injected with a tangible edge that sleeps inside the sharp drum kit and pulsing bass lines.
"That Mountain Is A Volcano" is a builder and a grower. It's haunting keyboard intro sets the tone of impending doom. "Maybe we'll never see it comin'", Levy sings, his vocal tone making you unsure whether he's warning you or hoping for the disaster. He cycles through a list of potential natural and man-made disasters until the chorus breaks into a chipper sing-a-long filled with "oohs" and "aahs". The apocalypse has never sounded so catchy.
You have to love Levy's moxie. He uses the indie pop format to craft an epic song about the imminent destruction of our planet, and then follows it two songs later with a step-by-step description of the Big Bang and the evolution of Earth. "There Was Light" gives us a heavier rhythm and some distorted guitar, but doesn't wander from the Eureka Birds' core sound.