Since forming in 2008, Athens-based indie band Futurebirds have developed a loyal fanbase and released a consistent output of neo-psychedelic country-infused rock music. Their first album to drop was in 2010, Hampton’s Lullaby. Since then, they have released two other albums as well as a live album and a handful of EPs. A decade on since their debut album finds the band releasing their fourth studio album, Teamwork. Combining pedal steel, horns, reverb effects with country beats and multi-part vocal harmonies are something that Futurebirds do well and Teamwork doesn’t do much to stand out from previous releases.
After a short intro titled “Teamwork Runs the Game” the group launches into “Crazy Boys”, which implements a tinge of psych and blues rock with the overall feel of twangy Americana. This formula is repeated on “Trippin’” albeit with a bit more twang. “Wandering Minds” brings the psychy, distorted guitars to the forefront while the vocals wail a country twang that pairs well with the pedal steel undercurrent, which helps it stand out on the album. Things take an upbeat turn with the southern rocker “My Broken Arm”, with its chugging waltz-beat and multi-part vocal harmonies being hollered out. “All Damn Night” is definitely a standout track that really showcases the group’s ability to belt out a bluesy southern rock track.
While Teamwork doesn’t find the group from Athens venturing very far out of their comfort zone, it doesn’t seem to matter much. The blending of psych-rock, alt-country and southern rock is something that Futurebirds do well and maybe it’s something that doesn’t need to be changed. However, even standing on the shoulders of giants of the genre like The Flying Burrito Brothers and The Byrds, Futurebirds still have a problem standing out in the crowd.
Folks, everyone’s busy, but go listen to ‘my broken arm’, trippin’, and ‘crazy boys’ from the new album and decide for yourself. Invest 10 minutes and you’ll be a fan for life. I guarantee it!
They only have a problem standing out because of the state of the industry, not the music. The music speaks for itself. Dozens of amazing songs over their run. If one of their songs got licensed for a car commercial or something, they’d instantly be a huge band. All you need is a break these days to unlock the masses.
If you like authentic and great rock and roll, three part melodies, and epic live shows, you will like the ‘birds. And the best part is with three song writers and singers, you get a variety of sounds and songwriting that keeps it fresh, both on albums and live. With only the cream of the crop rising to a recorded song. Its pretty unique.
They’re a throwback in that they make just damn good rock and roll. They don’t follow trends. They don’t stomp and holler, or yell ‘hey-ho’ or sing cheesy hooks about Jesus in astrovans and other dumb shit. They just write damn good songs and rock your socks off. Their time is coming. Get on board folks!