steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

blankred.jpg (4669 bytes)
blankred.jpg (4669 bytes)
blankred.jpg (4669 bytes)
blankred.jpg (4669 bytes)
info opinion

Birdwatchers of America

"There Have Been Sightings" CD


Genre: power-pop, country rock

Boston / Nashville, USA

May 8, 2009

Previous to delving into this record, I scoured my piles of promos looking for a quick power-pop fix. Being one of the few who truly can judge a book by its cover, I pulled out There Have Been Sightings on a whim and was pleased to find my suspicions confirmed. Quick pop hooks and focused compositions -- what more is there in life?

Named for what the band considered the least hip pastime imaginable, Birdwatchers of America perform country-inflected power-pop that is elegant, expertly-produced, and well-written -- if a little underwhelming. This joyful  record begins with "Rain Down the Chimes," a triumphant call to arms replete with anthemic chorus and momentous guitar strokes. Not bad. But it is deeper into the album when our spry Birdwatchers truly find their footing. Downtrodden campfire hymn "The Boy Emperor and G.I. Joe" gleams with shades of Counting Crows, while "Call From Virginia" is a resounding (if overdrawn) pop romp, and of "Ashes of the Sun" is delightfully infectious. There are rookie mistakes on this album -- most remarkably, the songs' tendency to go on for too long -- but there's no denying this is a delicious, polished power-pop treat. Colour me impressed.

birdwatchers of america's myspace


youuuuuuuutube!: "save the berlin wall committee" live

Michael Tau

[Vitals: 7 tracks + 6 clips, distributed by CD Baby, released 2008]