Local CD Roundup

Punk rock progenies Birthday Suits and chamber-folksters Dark Dark Dark.

PHOTO COURTESY SUPPLY AND DEMAND MUSIC

PHOTO COURTESY SUPPLY AND DEMAND MUSIC

Tony Libera

Birthday Suits ALBUM: âÄúThe Minnesota: Mouth To MouthâÄù LABEL: âÄúNice & Neat Records Dark Dark Dark ALBUM: âÄú âÄúBright Bright BrightâÄù LABEL: âÄúSupply and Demand Music EP RELEASE SHOW: âÄú7 p.m., April 15, Cedar Cultural Center, 416 Cedar Ave. S., tickets $8 advance/$10 door The Minnesota: Mouth To Mouth – Birthday SuitsâÄú ItâÄôs nice to see that punk rock is alive and well in Minneapolis, still ruining the eardrums of demanding delinquents and aggravating adults like in a Michael Jackson video. Give thanks to the boys of Birthday Suits. On their new album, âÄúThe Minnesota: Mouth To Mouth,âÄù they break the knob off at 11 and never look back. Like the RamonesâÄô early stuff, Birthday Suits make their tunes quick, frenetic and coarse, all while maintaining their pop sensibilities. Unlike the Ramones, they add dashes of heavy metal and pinches of noise-rock for a flavor that canâÄôt be pinned down. The end product is a raucous sound that defies any strict categorization as it jumps back and forth between styles. Birthday SuitsâÄô musical A.D.D. layers the album with surprising depth, despite its brevity. The opening track, âÄúThis is a Song,âÄù spends a minute and a half assaulting the ears with apocalyptic percussion and jagged guitar riffs, but then cuts into a harmonica/âÄùbah-bahâÄù breakdown. âÄúMiracle Brothers 2,âÄù contrasts the albumâÄôs ferocious punk gems, like âÄúTable Talk,âÄù with a brief jaunt sounding like the beginning of âÄúSympathy for the Devil.âÄù As fragmented and reaching as the record can be âÄî âÄúOur Turn, Our Time, Our Town, PeaceâÄù being the most notably transient song âÄî it never feels strained or inauthentic. âÄúThe Minnesota: Mouth to MouthâÄù is 21 minutes of damn-near-perfect cacophony. It took Birthday Suits five years to follow up with this brief beauty, and we can only pray itâÄôs not another five âÄôtil the next one. 4.5/5 âÄúBright Bright BrightâÄù âÄì Dark Dark DarkâÄú Not all the members of Dark Dark Dark hail from Minnesota, but thereâÄôs an undeniable land-of-the-loons feel to their music. Their haunting, elegiac tones and symphonic strings recall a time not so long ago when the wind was still berating pale faces and scattering superfluous snow all over the narrow Minneapolitan streets, depressing the hell out of everyone. Their most recent release, the âÄúBright Bright BrightâÄù EP, came out back in March, but the bandâÄôs return from a nationwide tour means an EP release show for the hometown crowd. âÄúBright Bright BrightâÄù opens with the title track, a swooning orchestral song thatâÄôs both melancholic and alluring. Lead singer Nona Marie InvieâÄôs honeyed vocals glide melodically over heavy strings and a winding piano. The music swells as we reach the climax, and Invie lets out a beautiful lament about the price of pride. âÄúThe HandâÄù and âÄúMake TimeâÄú seem to break us from a downcast gaze with isolated jabs, but perhaps this is just a trick played by the accordion or the light brass. InvieâÄôs voice is still humming over shaded undertones and plaintive choral backings like evidence of darker days. The overall feel is still that of a person reflecting, looking back on loss. âÄúBright Bright BrightâÄù is hardly what its title suggests, but itâÄôs intricate in its darkness and moving in every respect. 4.5/5