The Wind-Up Birds - Courage, for Tomorrow Will Be Worse - Singles - Reviews - Soundblab

The Wind-Up Birds - Courage, for Tomorrow Will Be Worse

by Andy Brown Rating:9 Release Date:2011-01-05

Leeds seems to have a knack for producing quality bands, bands with DIY/indie/punk credentials to spare and excellent live reputations to boot. Local legends like Bilge Pump, Chickenhawk and Cowtown have made a name for themselves by guaranteeing first-class live shows. It's here, in the live environment, that you really need to hear The Wind-Up Birds. Coming on like Yorkshire's answer to Art Brut, with a frontman that looks uncannily like stand-up comedian Stewart Lee, The Wind-Up Birds are a welcome kick-up-the-arse live. That's not to say they're not great on record too, however. Their latest EP Courage, For Tomorrow Will Be Worse contains four spiky slices of indie-punk-pop that will hopefully bring them to the attention of a wider audience.

'Good Shop Shuts' is very Art Brut with its jaunty, indie call-to-arms; which is no bad thing at all. Its lyrics concern the closure of an independent record store as lead singer Paul Ackroyd snarls: "We'd take the blame if we had the guts, the money we never spent, the times we never went". It's enough to make you feel pretty guilt-ridden about any albums you picked up in Asda/Tesco/Netto while your local record emporium struggled (the song also echoes Eddie Argos' plea to "Stop buying albums in the supermarket").

Second track, the brilliantly titled 'In a Yorkshire Call Centre I Knelt Down and Wept', has been going down well live for a while now and is a definite highlight. Ackroyds' tale of losing yourself in dead-end employment is hardly a new topic for today's indie-punk lyricists but it's one that he handles with originality and injects with a genuine sense of panic. The music's great too; there's a 60s-style keyboard that's reminiscent of Clint Boon and a descending chord sequence that crashes around a panic stricken Ackroyd. Brilliant.

Next up there're the regrets and wasted opportunities expressed in the energetic, indie-punk of 'This Boat is Going Nowhere Tonight, Son'. Final track 'Some Slum Clearances' sounds like The Cure's 'Never Enough' sang by Shaun Rider with Morrissey-esque lyrics about being left behind. Then it's over and you find yourself playing it all over again.

Courage, for Tomorrow Will Be Worse is hardly a musically innovative listen but, with this kinda thing, that's not really the point. The Wind-Up Birds are the kind of band that remind you of a lot of your favourite groups yet manage to retain an originality which makes them a refreshing vital and oddly reassuring listen. Ackroyds lyrics are pretty special too: sharp, informed, witty and precise. Courage, for tomorrow may just be better...

Comments (0)

There are no comments posted here yet
Related Articles
The Wind-Up Birds - Courage, for Tomorrow Will Be Worse - Singles - Reviews - Soundblab
ILL - Wharf Chambers, Leeds
  • 09/16/2018
  • By Andy Brown