by Dan Goldin (@post_trash_)
In the same week that I heard Birthing Hips' new record and thought to myself how they truly are Boston's best up-and-coming band, I also read that they were deciding to call it a day. With their sophomore album, Urge To Merge, due out November 17th via NNA Tapes, it's hard to believe this is the end for the quartet with a late entry into our "favorite album of the year" category. While last year's No Sorry was an exceptional debut, Urge To Merge is next level, an unpredictable blend of avant-garde punk and brilliantly damaged art-pop. Unique and highly capable musicians, their sophomore record is manic and free, both more spastic and polished than it's predecessor.
First single "Droplet" is as detached as they get, opening with a stuttering rhythm that sounds resolutely broken, Carrie Furniss' lyrics adding to the feeling, "don't break it or you'll have to buy." The heavy discordant shifts are met with violently tangled guitars and polyrhythmic outbursts, shaking the jagged hypnosis into one great festering knot. Just when it feels as though Wendy Eisenberg (guitar), Andres Abenante (bass) and Owen Liza (drums) are playing in different time and space, the band snap back into their deranged groove, and this all before the monolithic refrain brings Birthing Hips to their most majestic. A grandiose collision of brilliantly freaked out pop and unadorned noise, and they do it all simultaneously in a way all their own. Just as quickly as they teeter into radio friendly territory, they jerk right back out into a loose jazz break, spritely yelps, and some whistling... and things continue to devolve further from there. Shrieking groans, sinister carnival nightmare melodies, and wildly complex rhythms crash and fade as "Droplet" progresses, and somehow... just somehow... it all feels natural and maybe even accessible (to a certain audience at least) in the weirdest of ways.
Please don't go, Birthing Hips. Urge To Merge is a noise rock masterpiece in the vein of US Maple's Long Hair in Three Stages or Boredoms' Pop Tatari; a timeless statement of structural freedom, incredible musicianship, and omnipresent personality. Birthing Hips forever.
Birthing Hips' Urge To Merge is out November 17th via NNA Tapes.