Astute Ball of Wax listeners might remember Jimmy Monaghan’s band Christian Bookshop from Volume 30. Listeners with long memories might remember his other band, Music for Dead Birds, from way back on Volume 12. I was excited when Jimmy appeared after such a long absence with the “friendly folk” of Christian Bookshop, but I was even more excited to have another dose of moody rock from the guitar-and-drums whirlwind of Music for Dead Birds in the form of their new album, Vitamins (which you can, and should, pick up for as little as you wish to pay at that link). I’ve always been a sucker for a well-executed dose of quiet-loud-quiet rock, and Monaghan and drummer Dónal Walsh are excellent purveyors of said genre. “A Better View,” like many of their songs, draws you in with a soft, melodic guitar lick, hushed vocals, and a tight, restrained drum pattern before walloping you over the head with layers of overdriven cacophony and emotive hollering, then draws right back down to start it all over again, ending with a final triumphant, overblown riff. This is the kind of stuff that gets my approaching-40-year-old blood pumping like I was a teenager in a church basement rock show.
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