“Take Out the Poison” The Bye Bye Blackbirds
Local indie band that specializes in guitar-driven rock and power pop-rock with big harmonies and just a hint of country. The Oakland band’s fourth full-length album demonstrates the versatility of frontman and songwriter, Bradley Skaught, and the Blackbirds as the band deftly covers all the bases: straight-ahead rock, 1960s-style country-rock (Byrds, Buffalo Springfield), power pop and even brassy glam-rock. Lots of guest musicians and vocalists — including several duets — adding to the interesting mix of songs and styles.
Recommended: 3, 1, 10, 2, 11, 6 No FCCs detected.
1. (3:48) Earl Grey Kisses – Rock ‘n’ roll romp reminiscent of Tom Petty with tumbling drums, crunchy guitars and cool, intricate bass line. ****
2. (3:54) Let Your Hair Fall Down – Horn-drenched, driving glam-rock. ***
3. (2:52) Duet – Bouncy and playful with handclaps. Hint of Americana. Great duet by Skaught and Lindsay Paige Garfield (Or, the Whale). Electric guitar stands in for fiddle in the lead break. ****
4. (2:51) Wasted – A fun-lovin’, high-steppin’, handclappin’ rock tune. ***
5. (3:27) I Meant to Write – Acoustic ballad with guitar and strings.
6. (3:17) Alfred Starr Hamilton — Power-pop with ringing and crunchy guitars. ***
7. (4:01) Baby We’re Fine – Melodic guitar rock with rich harmonies. Skaught and Washington D.C.’s Olivia Mancini on vocals.
8. (3:40) Broken Falls – 1960s country-rock that builds, with Byrds-like harmonies toward the end.
9. (4:04) Your Spell Is Too Late – Slow, swinging country anthem with BIG roaring guitars and organ. Vocals by Skaught and Julie Wakefield (Or, the Whale).
10. (2:43) Poison Love – Up-tempo, high-energy country-rock closer. Great travelin’ music with a player piano in the mix. ***
11. (2:35) Earl Grey Kisses (Reprise) – Soft and soulful reprise of the opening song, with Skaught and Julie Wakefield again sharing the vocals. ***