Birds in Row – Gris Klein (Review)

Birds in Row - Gris KleinBirds in Row are a French post-hardcore band and this is their third album.

Gris Klein is the 43-minute follow-up to 2018’s We Already Lost the World, and it has been more than worth the wait.

Birds in Row’s path to individuality is continuing apace, and the results, once more, are compelling. Gris Klein takes the band’s hardcore roots and uses them to forge a collection of music that is as creative as it is diverse. The punk heart of the band is alive and well, and this shines strongly, yet doesn’t inform everything here by any means.

Expansive and intelligently crafted, Gris Klein is ripe with emotion. I’d go so far as to say that this is the driving force of the music, despite anything else that might be occurring. Birds in Row channel anger and aggression as well as anyone, but it’s the utterly absorbing emotive atmosphere of the album that grabs you the most.

The well-written songs are hard-hitting mood pieces that still have a raw, visceral directness to them. The songs drip with affecting atmosphere, in an almost dreamy way. Part of this is down to the shimmering shoegaze influence that’s apparent in the music, lending it a beautiful sheen as resplendent melodies and walls of rich distortion was over the listener. A certain pop sensibility can also be heard in some aspects of the songwriting, enriching the catchy and memorable side of the songs, while still prioritising sonic texture and atmospheric weight.

If hardcore punk by way of Alcest, Cult of Luna, and At the Drive In appeals, then don’t miss out on Gris Klein. Birds in Row have produced something special here.

Very highly recommended.

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