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Boston, Massachusetts, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2017 | SELF

Boston, Massachusetts, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2017
Band Rock Garage Rock





by Steve Yardley

Birdgangs is a band from Boston MA with a self-described sound of Surf N’ Roll and East Coast Rock. I have been their frumpy sound guy at breweries and bars, and took a liking to their rhythmic ingenuity, trebly twang, and cutting-edge lyricism. Plus, a few tequila shots post-show makes a band a bit more endearing. Their 2018 album, “Maximum Suction,” is a distracting, blow-job-like title, probably an inside joke or something with these cats, but don’t be fooled, their music is unbelievable.

“Hello” is a really disturbing introduction. It’s a simple thing to say, but wrought with complication. It sounds like a dystopian telephone conversation, a static circus rumbling in the background, and Jack’s voice saying – hello – hello – hello – in redundant frustration just to get a signal across to an unknown receiver.

For artists in this digital age, trying to communicate a message through technology can leave your voice distorted, unheard, shrill, and spindly. The telephonic dissonance is ear-piercing in this track, and the only answer to these hellos is a gigabyte monster, warbling, and antagonizing Jack before he finally hangs up. Desperately trying to get an answer, Jack finally ends the conversation saying, “I don’t know if you picked up.” All Jack is trying to say is hey, and I find his inability to communicate something so simple and harmless to be disturbing

“Hello” is truly the most difficult part for starting bands that have gallons of talent, yet no one seems to pick up the signal in this digital garbage heap. Trust me, Birdgangs has gallons and gallons of talent. It must be frustrating, but nevertheless, hello?

You’ll Never Work In This Town Again
We get the classic Birdgangs sound in this track. The guitar work cuts like a spiny-rainbow with those vintage twangy surf riffs. Jack, the leader singer, has ditched the telephone voice. It is clear, pleasant sounding, and sincere with occasional vibrato. In this song, his voice is delivered in a calm and collected way with a tinge of tension. Instrumentally, it shrugs, plays cool.

The title of this track, “You’ll Never Work In This Town Again,” is pretty revealing of a conflict, possibly a blackmail. It’s commonly heard in the music industry by powerful sketch-thug talent buyers in the city. Lyrically, you can envision a manipulative, self-absorbed business criminal trying to grease a band. The story goes that Birdgangs bails on this guy like many others, raising the question in the chorus, “what did you think would happen?”

Thematically, we are seeing a pattern about the pressures of the music industry here, especially for a few young-guns trying to make it. It may not be a talent buyer per say, but it is definitely pointed at someone within the music biz. It’s easy to see that they are close to powerless by quantifiable industry standards, and need exposure just starting out, but won’t work for inept dirtbags or conform to industry expectations.

Taxi Driver
“Let’s just get away from it all,” is a common dream of most East Coasters during the winter. It’s a popular sentiment like, “F*** all this snow.” The protagonist of this song leaves, and moves out to the desert. The drums, and bass punch. The tempo drives. The sense of this new culture seem apathetic, and uncaring. It ramps up.

The place becomes dangerous. It is a place where you can’t walk safely home at night so you trust a slick taxicab to get you home, and they take you far away from it. I can feel the exhaustion, and lack of peace permeate the song. It is emphasized by the fuzzed out, cackling guitar solo, short-circuiting into madness. Like many of us that venture far away from home, the lyrics cultivate a sweet nostalgia for the East, putting chains on your tires, and having your own car to steer.

This song is melancholy, reverb-soaked genius. My headphones sing with wobbling woozy guitars, straying from the surf sound, but keeping Birdgangs artistic ingenuity through rhythmic variance, and tonal experimentation. “Lorraine” is peppered with soft vulnerable vocal melodies, thin-breathed, and pure. Yet, you can feel Jack’s voice snarl. You can hear the pain seething, and also hear the acceptance. It is a song for underwear days after a breakup with all the anger and despondence that accompanies them.

Steve’s Final Thoughts

Birdgangs produces creative, cutting-edge surf music in the East with gripping honesty in the lyrics, surprising structural rhythms, and zinging guitar fingerprint. Although the East is known for small waves, this album is a colossal sound-tsunami, and a perfect example of what music in 2018 needs: fierce sincerity, innovative visions, and instrumental excellence. Fly on Birdgangs, fly.

“Sonic” Steve Yardley is a rock n roller. When he’s not attending shows, he’s cruising around in his Jammbulance, making it happen. - Live Music Daily

"A Deli Premiere: Greasy Spoon by former AOTM member Birdgangs"

Former Deli New England artists of the month Birdgangs, an indie rock quartet from Boston, could be considered coastal traitors. The inform their clean take on classic rock and roll with distinctly West Coast, surfy overtones. This may be most visible in their newest single, "Greasy Spoon" (streaming below), an eclectic tune that is bursting with life. The main riff, written by lead guitarist Matt Bates, sounds like it should be soundtracking your favorite surfer movie. A completely new genre is born when it's directly juxtaposed with the grungy breaks in the track that pull you right back into a Boston basement show. The transitions are at once extremely disorienting and undeniably effective, a nascent appeal to the diverse music scene of the city. The track is also the first to be written by the band since the addition of drummer Fernando Echeverry, according to lead vocalist Jack Davis. He said, "There’s a uniting element to the process that brought the song about. I heard Matt playing the riff that ended up in the song and that was definitely what set it in motion. The lyrics tell a story of an unfortunate misunderstanding between people that leads to some awkward hilarity and delightfully unexpected batches of late-night pancakes.” Birdgangs will be playing their next live show at Opus in Salem at 9 pm. - Lilly Milman, photo by Hannah Blauner - The Deli Magazine

""Greasy Spoon" Full of Sugar"

Their unique vocals and production captivate their listeners, making them crave more and more. Definitely keep your eye out for Birdgangs, you won't want to miss them. - Cold Coffee Records

"REVIEW: Sunflower Bean, Dream Wife, Birdgangs @ Sonia 05/03"

Sunflower Bean headlined an amazing show at Sonia in Cambridge, assisted by local Boston band Birdgangs, and British/Icelandic female punk quartet Dream Wife. Rivaled with a Jaden Smith concert next door, I’d say those who didn’t see the Bean, as fans like to call them, perform were severely missing out.

Sunflower Bean, comprised of singer and bassist Julia Cumming, guitarist and singer Nick Kivlen, and drummer Jacob Faber, hail from Brooklyn, New York, and rose dominantly from an indie movement that saw Cumming leave her old band Supercute! to create two well-crafted albums with the founding members of Sunflower Bean, Kivlen and Faber, who have played together since high school.

Opener Birdgangs was high energy, and it was cool to see a local band open up for a band like Sunflower Bean. Of their many garage bops, one that stood out was “Taxi Driver.” - WTBU


Birdgangs’ Maximum Suction, which draws inspiration from the likes of Arctic Monkeys, The Strokes, and Real Estate, replicates the feel of the nostalgia of wandering around an old neighborhood. There’s a sense of familiarity that comes with the opening riff of “Taxi Driver,” in the sense of urgency in the percussion of “Roxy,” and the distorted vocal harmonies of “Lorraine.” There’s a grittiness and echo that recalls Is This It and hints of the rowdy propulsion of Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not.

The parallels in their sound and their influences are certainly deliberate: “We’re definitely going for that same garage feel, making the listener feel as close to the instruments and vocals as possible,” said lead singer Jack Davis. “Our big influences while recording were the early recordings of some of our favorite garage bands (The Strokes, Real Estate, Arctic Monkeys, Beach Fossils, FIDLAR),” Davis explains. “We just really wanted to have a raw quality to the EP—not too much production getting in the way of the instruments.”

Part of the reason for the garage rawness heard on Maximum Suction comes from the fact that it was recorded in DIY spaces throughout the Greater Boston area. “We did the drums at our buddies’ house out in Chestnut Hill, we did the guitars at our place in Allston, and we did the vocals at Joe’s place out in Eastie.” There’s something to be said for recording music in familiar spaces in lieu of a polished studio.

Birdgangs have spent the last year gigging around Boston, playing local venues like O’Brien’s, Great Scott, and the Middle East. Though the band started in January of 2017, its members have been part of the Boston music community for a while. Some of Birdgangs’ songs come from a band Davis played with in college, but as often is the case, his fellow bandmates were moving away from Boston or too busy for the band. So, Davis started a new group with two friends from high school.

Today, the lineup includes guitarist Matt Bates, drummer Fernando Echeverry, and bassist Julien Schremmer. Most of the band speaks Spanish, though you wouldn’t be able to tell on “Taxi Driver.” Davis sings the line “But no one hablas español as good as you and me” with an incorrect verb conjugation and an accent that would make most native speakers cringe. Turns out, that was very much intentional: “Julien and Fernando are both fluent in Spanish and Matt is conversant. I speak a little bit but not well, so the line is kind of a gag because I speak it worse than every other member of the band.”

The song isn’t the only one that shows the band’s sense of humor—that attitude is reflected in the intro track, “Hello,” a snippet of a voicemail Schremmer once left on a friend’s phone. “It was really funny because he says hello like five or six times before he realized Charlie hadn’t picked up and it became kind of a running joke, just like yelling “hello” all the time,” Jack said. “We figured it would be a little fun thing to include right at the top of the EP.” The name of the band itself follows a similar logic: “The band name couldn’t be more random,” says Davis. “It’s one word for tax reasons.”

Below you listen to the premiere of Maximum Suction. Catch Birdgangs perform the EP live at their release show on March 23rd at O’Briens. - Knar Bedian, Sound of Boston


Favorite Track: Lorraine

Birdgangs have released their latest EP, “Maximum Suction.” The opening track “Hello" is a brief introductory track that transitions into the following track, "You'll Never Work In This Town Again." Right off the bat, it surprised me with the interesting composition and impressive guitar solo. (Not to mention that the bass on here is great as well). "Taxi Driver" is sort of similar to the previous track (especially as far as the guitar goes) but at the same time, it feels like it's a little bit unique in its own way. "Roxy" has some pretty impressive instrumentation, especially the guitar parts and the drums driving the track. "Don't Open The Door" contrasts and really stands out from the rest of the tracks on here. It's a much softer track from the instrumentals to the vocals. The vocal performance on this track is without a doubt my favorite vocal performance on the record. "Lorraine" is the track that closes out this EP and it's a pretty good closer. The guitar parts on here are great, especially in the intro, pre-chorus and chorus, and the vocals are pretty good on here as well. Overall, I thought that this EP was pretty good. I'm a little bit intrigued by the unique sound that this band has and it sounds like something I haven't really heard before. - Live A Little Bit Louder

"SOMETHING TO HEAR: “You'll Never Work in This Town Again" by Birdgangs"

"Birdgangs are a four-piece Boston garageband that draws on their personal experiences to explore miscommunication, mild embarrassment, and the fickle nature of youthful certainty.

"They bring a rare mix of passionate artistry, honest lyricism, and explosive stage presence to every show that raises audiences to their feet through pulse pounding melodies, and fierce, unrelenting rhythms.

"Stemming from garage rock influences such as Arctic Monkeys, The Strokes, and Real Estate, they stir up head-bobbing bass lines reminiscent of early rock-and-roll, heightened by the soul-stirring twang only accessible five feet from stage."

Pick up the EP at their release show 3/23 at O'Brien's Pub. Also playing locals Something Sneaky, Bruvs, and The Quins. - Eye Design

"Underdogs On The Rise: Birdgangs"

Searching for some straight-forward Boston based Rock and Roll? You’re in luck! Birdgangs have released a funky, nostalgia inducing debut EP. Maximum Suction is a telling six track EP laced with wit and honest stories from the band’s lyricist, Jack Davis.

The album flows effortlessly, so effortlessly it’s almost difficult to tell when a one song has ended and another has begun. Even though this may seem repetitive on the record of an established band, for a relatively young band like Birdgangs, it works in their favor. The garage-rock attitude shines through as it feels casual and cool.

Although seemingly unsure of what they’re doing, Birdgangs is on the right track. Destined to be local heroes and garage-rock greatness if they keep pushing forward with simple and honest music. Any EP that makes you feel like you’re jamming out with friends in the basement of a house show is a winner. Listen for youself! Stream the full record on Spotify here.

Follow Birdgangs on Facebook. - Underdog Press

"Meet Jack Davis of Birdgangs in Allston"

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jack Davis.

Jack, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I started playing some of these songs with a band while I was at Emerson, until I graduated in May 2016. The guys I was playing with back then, they were either moving away or busy with school, and I started up with Julien Schremmer (bass) and Matt Bates (guitar) in January of 2017. Fernando Echeverry (drums) started with us in November that year after our original drummer left. We spent most of 2017 playing gigs around Boston, and in a few other cities in the northeast. We also recorded our first EP, which we released back in March. For now we’re just continuing to play shows (next is in Cambridge May 3 w/ Sunflower Bean & Dream Wife @ Sonia), and writing our next EP.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
I mean every venture comes with obstacles but it has been a relatively smooth road so far. We all have been on board to really give this a go since the beginning, and that commitment makes it much easier to make a band work. Of course it can be taxing to schedule stuff and work around jobs, and it is a hustle to balance the commitment with other life stuff but it’s really a good time and it’s a very fulfilling activity. It feels really good to be working toward something together. We have a really great group of friends and family who support us at every turn, and that’s really heartening as well.

Please tell us about Birdgangs.
We are a garage rock band that started in Boston in 2017. We put on high energy rock shows and enjoy making strangers jump and sweat. We’re proud of our band’s commitment to improvement and the 13 seconds Matt knocked off his 200-yard butterfly. I think what sets us apart from other bands is that we have a natural chemistry. We were all pretty fast friends, and we get along real well. I like to think that comes across pretty well in the live shows.

Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
I biked across the United States when I was 15. That was rad. - Boston Voyager


Ima Robot - Single
Drive Thru the Desert - Single
Greasy Spoon - Single
Maximum Suction - EP



Birdgangs are Brooklyn’s premier purveyor of East Coast Rock Garage Surf N Turf.  Formed in Boston in 2017 by friends Jack Davis (guitar/drums, lead vocals), Matt Bates (lead guitar), Julien Schremmer (bass), they released their debut EP ‘Maximum Suction’ in March 2018. Since then, Birdgangs have been gigging around the Eastern US, earning The Deli Magazine’s recognition as one of the Best of New England’s Emerging Artists. Their music “produces creative, cutting-edge surf music in the East with gripping honesty in the lyrics, surprising structural rhythms, and a zinging guitar fingerprint.” Influenced by the likes of Arctic Monkeys, Johnny Cash, and Real Estate, Birdgangs digests only the highest quality seeds to regurgitate a new strain of bird flu you never knew you wanted. Come out to a show, jump around, and say hi. 

Band Members