Two Wounded Birds
Holiday Friends Records
Link: Two Wounded Birds on Facebook
You need to sit down. Comfortable? Good.
This is the story of one of the greatest bands in the history of rock. Two Wounded Birds? No, I’m referring to The Ramones. Ask anyone to name a Ramones song, and I am pretty sure they can do it, even years after their late ‘70s/’80s life.
I’m not referring to the Gabba Gabba Hey elements of the Ramones, I’m talking about their love songs and devotion to early ‘60s rock, like Bobby Freeman’s cover of “Do You Wanna Dance?” or “She’s The One” and “Oh, Oh, I Love Her So.” These songs, although more underrated than “Sheena Is A Punk Rocker” or “Blitzkrieg Bop,” is more important in my eyes to the band’s rise to immortality. “Hey ho, let’s go” is a great device and will get anyone on their feet in a heartbeat, but songs like “In The Park,” is where my real love for this band lies.
Their simplistically comical yet artistic punk became an idol amongst themselves and spiraled the concept of New York City in the ‘70s to be filled with holy jeans and ratty long-haired mop tops. At least that was my conceptualization of New York City in the early ‘80s.
The Ramones led me to The New York Dolls that led me to The Pretenders and beyond. It was a great time for music and a testament that has become timeless classics.
Two Wounded Birds understands it. You can feel it in their songs. “Together Forever” is a Ramones’ blueprint filled with Descendents love song gushing. It’s a simple song that will leave an imprint in your mind. A longing for early ‘60s greaser hair and summer cruises into oblivion. There is no beating around the bush, you are fully aware of the intentions of this band.
On their debut album, they write songs intended to be with you for a very long time. It’s that great summer classic that burns into “My Lonesome,” a mysterious surf serenade. You want to fall in love with this song a thousand years over. As classy as a Blue Stingrays album and as daring as any Zombies’ song (that’s the farfisa talking), minus any of those weirdo freak outs from Odessey and Oracle. By now, you realize that this band means business and is not just some cartoon representation of the cartoonish antics of the garage rock and garage punk scene they follow.
By the time I get “To Be Young,” I begin to think. Why am I trying so hard to hold on to these icons that followed my youth when I have Two Wounded Birds, here and now. This is a band that should be on classic radio stations that specialize in the style because it should be apparent to you that every song on this album is good….real good.
There is a freedom and immediacy to these songs. For this album it’s not the end of the world like many punk bands felt, it’s the beginning of a celebration of life and a reminder that no matter how old we are, never let your youth go to waste.
“Night Patrol” looks to the seedier side of surf ecstasy and blends in a Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet vibe. The drums keep a tribal pulse like the heartbeat of a neon vacancy sign blaring through the window of your seedy motel room. Noir is an understatement here.
And towards the end of the album, they dapple into intimate love songs the best way this band can convey them. “I’m No Saviour” can make you tear up, it’s that good. “If Only We Remain” burns white hot with the soft pleasure of great songwriting. It seems to be a trend for them. “No Goodbyes” and “The Outer World” send us on our way with a sobering ‘60s pop under layer that you just want to sink into yourself and enjoy every moment.
There is a part of me that I cannot believe I just heard all of this on one album. It’s hard for me to believe I have found a band that can pull this off so well. Television’s Marquee Moon stood out to me for its garage and punk ethics, but was smoothly designed, I cannot help but match the spirit of this band.
I don’t know what this band went through to make an album of this caliber or what it took to get the music into this shape, but whatever the journey, the results are extraordinary. Who needs classics when you have this in the now.