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CD REVIEW:  Magnificent Birds of Prey - Self Titled EP

by: Cyrus Rhodes





Artist/Band: Magnificent Birds of Prey   

Album: Magnificent Birds of Prey  (EP) 
Label: Independent Artist
Website: http://magnificentbirdsofprey.tumblr.com/

Genre: Ambient Rock, Alternative Rock, Ambient Pop
Sounds Like: Radiohead, Live, Death Cab for Cutie, Better than Ezra. 

Technical Grade: 7/10
Production/Musicianship Grade: 8/10
Commercial Value: 8/10
Overall Talent Level: 8/10
Songwriting Skills: 8/10
Performance Skill: 8/10
Best Songs: On a Dime, Definition, Aviator Glasses

Weakness:  Short sided Songs




Philly based Alt-Rock band Magnificent Birds of Prey just released their latest self titled EP in 2013. The new aviary of Philly-area rockers Magnificent Birds of Prey An EP is being presented, songs always written, ideas jammed upon, and the lineup is slowly circling overhead. The sound is still being plucked from the carcasses of our various rock, pop and spaced-out influences. Birds of Prey will appear at light speed, uncloak and rock your face off. They then disappear into the depths of space, to incubate new battle cries, lullabies, and geek chic anthems.


The EP kicks things off with Track 1 “Anthem” an explosive rock steady prelude of sorts that’s serves up methodical musical build, driving rock rhythm and emotional vocal delivery from Kelch. Track 2 “Wolves a Comin’  serves up an impressive fallow-up statement that dishes out melodic phrasing, panted against dynamic musical flow and an impressive culmination of guitar, voice and harmonies against a grand slam chorus. Track 3 “On a Dime” ” keeps things moving with striking heartfelt vocal delivery, via well placed rhythm guitar and thought provoking lyrical content that flows and ebbs its way through to emotional fruition. As the CD quickly unfolds I can hear influences ranging from Radiohead, Live, Death Cab for Cutie and even Kings of Leon to Better than Ezra. The music has everything you would expect from a dynamic Alternative/Progressive Rock CD, but also touches straight up Rock that’s quite dynamic and melodic. The style of the music is highly original and refuses to be pinned down the first listen. The vocals are impressive, compelling and push the emotional envelope and imagination. The rhythm guitar ambience is spot on, very melodic and dynamic and the vocal phrasing and musical flow is highly creative. I didn’t fail to notice a few impressive guitar solos layered along the way. Impressive rhythm guitar as well. The overall vocal style from Kelch work extremely well with the confine of this Alternative Rock catalogue and his melodic phrasing and lyrics are effective. By track 4 the CD hits solid stride dishing out many impressive songs in a row. Like a heavy weight boxer the songs keep coming at you one after the other - with no sign of letting up. From heartfelt “Lighthouse” to rocking “N.B.C” to rock steady “Aviator Glasses” to dynamic “definition” this EP pretty much has something for just about everyone. The EP ends with Track 6 “Spent” is the perfect finale statement for an EP of this caliber.


All tracks under 2.5 minutes feel like incomplete statements to me. This isn’t the most modern sounding mix I’ve ever heard however it works within the confines of an Indie Rock CD of this caliber so this last comment gets a hall pass..


This latest release Magnificent Birds of Prey is a strong and consistent musical statement from start to finish. Its strength – the strong song for song consistency, progressive dynamics and strong melodic structure that keeps coming at you. The music is catchy, melodic, and highly original. What else can I say? Magnificent Birds of Prey  rock the “bird” house  


Cyrus Rhodes

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