If Warren Zevon, Alex Chilton and Jackson Browne had formed a band formed it would sound like A Little Blood from The Whybirds. A 14 track tour de force of intense rock and pop songs.
A recent line-up change forced them to reconsider their instrumentation and to a certain extent their songwriting style. The alt-country almost Sprinsteen sound has gone in favour of a harder edgier grunge-like sound. This really helps the songs seem more powerful and the lyrics hit a passionate darker spot.
The Whybirds are a three piece band from Bedford in the UK and already sound like a band we know and love. Dave Banks, Ben Haswell and Luke Tuchscherer are all singer songwriters and this helps with the diverse nature of their tunes.
Moving from a band of four to a three piece drew some challenges and to help meet them they
enlisted the services of Nick Mailing, who produced their eponymous first record and was instrumental in helping The Whybirds find their sound at the start of their career.
“The truth is,” says Luke, “that it was like starting again. We were essentially having to relearn how to be a band, how to play together, how to communicate with each other. And, like he did before, Nick helped us think in a new way.”
The band’s whole methodology in making the record changed too. They worked on arrangements in the studio, rather than testing them on the road. They also launched a crowd-funding scheme through Pledge Music – which saw them reach their target in less than half the time they’d set for the campaign.
The personal nature of the songs have a few identifiable themes running through them. This mostly seems to be hitting a brick wall and trying to move beyond it, a gleam of hope sometimes appears. Musically and emotionally this album has seams of gleams.
Simon Jay Price for Rockshot. October 2013.