BIRDS OF MAYA – ” Valdez “

Posted: April 16, 2021 in Classic Albums, MUSIC
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There will be a new Birds of Maya record out June 25th on Drag City Records.
Much about this album, including the name and artwork is in honour of the beauty and wildness of the vacant lots where we used to play shows, garden, or build playgrounds for our kids before they were all dug out to build gigantic condos. It’s harder now to find the Earth around here. It’s not gone, just hiding, waiting to be let loose again.
This record is the first one we ever recorded in an actual studio, Black Dirt Studio.

A long era of dull ringing and nothing else in our ears is over. Once again, winds of warm guitar and humid thunderheads of bass and toms rumble all around. With Valdez, Birds of Maya are back in flight. And like the first song title explicitly states, this latest is a soaring blast of riffers, rife with punk rock abandon, sludge, treble, distortion, neck-throttling rock n roll solos, pummelling drums and bass and half-shouted/half-gargled vocals, all of it half on and half off the mic. For the good times as always, these Birds!.

That’s how they’ve done it: fast and heavy, hard, live and loose, amid accumulating piles of empties, in appropriately informal environments since 2004ish, with their three LPs (on Holy Mountain, Richie and Little Big Chief) ripping us up whenever they drop. With each release, our thirst has increased, but to our horror, we haven’t found any fresh feathers from their tree in the new release bins since 2013. Somewhere in Philadelphia, Jason Killinger, Ben Leaphart and Mike Polizze played on — preferably outside (the shows are always extra-good), but wherever, really.

Recorded in 2014 at Black Dirt Studios in New York. Yeah: Birds of Maya packed up their shit, drove out of North Philly to a recording studio hundreds of miles away and made an album. Kinda nuts. And then didn’t release it until…well, yeah — now! Time is a test that Birds of Maya recordings need to pass before they see the light of day. At the time this was recorded, Birds of Maya were standing on the other side of ten years kicking around town, suddenly far away from the primordial ooze they’d flopped forth from. The streets where all this had happened on were changing, with new money rolling in, but they were the same old Birds, content with their libations and ear-splitting variations on old favourite Stooges chords. The cover art of Valdez is a couple images from those days, glimpses at the old grass roots before they were ripped up by developers to build condos. But nothing ever really goes away, Valdez stands tall amongst the changing landscape.

“BFIOU” is from “Valdez” released on LP & Streaming on June 25th, 2021 by Drag City Records.

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