Before the invention of the world wide web/Noisey, many of us got our wonderful taste in music from three sources: older siblings, older friends who smoked cigarettes, and skate videos. That’s pretty much it (anyone who got their music from music writing ended up liking U2 or REM or some such shit—tragic). The third option, along with Thrasher, was the most dependable. In a world of 30-something bearded man-children in Wu-Tang onesies on long boards, it’s easy to forget that, as far physical activity goes, skateboarding is/was pretty cool and used to be an attractive gateway to a lifetime of delinquency. And videos like Bones Brigade were as much book learning as a young punk needed to get by in this bad old world.
The new video for “(I’m) Wired” by New Jersey’s finest, Night Birds, is a tribute to those most educational of films. Shot largely in black and white and interspersed with live clips of bad-hair-do-ed skankers moshing it up to the band’s patented surf punk vitriol, it’s the sort of 80s style skate video kids all over America used to watch in their parent’s basements in the Jurassic days before the internet. It’s appropriate that Night Birds would express their general worldview through such a medium. The band has made their career vigorously recreating what was best of 80s punk: aggression, speed, and the brattiness that comes with knowing that if the bomb don’t get you, the suburbs will.
Atypical of many of their peers but in line with the talented youth in their video, Night Birds can actually play. For most bands on the planet, musical skill can be a pitfall as often as it’s an advantage, but Night Birds keep shit tight and interesting without making a big deal about it. They also record analog, which is apparently a thing you can do if you can play your instrument. It sounds really great.
The new Night Birds album is called Mutiny At Muscle Beach and out now on Fat Wreck Chords. It’s a cheerful/cheerless collection of razor wire rants concerning the TV Party, the TV after party, the TV party hangover that is adulthood, and then the grave. It’s a blast. The video for “(I’m) Wired” is dedicated to the late and beloved Brandon Carlisle of Teenage Bottlerocket. Check it out below:
Skate or die with Zachary Lipez on Twitter.