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Review – Relient K "The Bird and the Bee Sides" Part 1 July 1, 2008

Posted by rawkfistmusic in 2008, Relient K.

Written by Jake S.

Ahh yes, and now it is time dear children to review a great band turned religious. Usually a formula for disaster, yes? Well, at first I was a terrible decision for the big R.K., but after Mmhmm I think I’ve come to expect a little more. Mmhmm being not quite a terrible CD so much as one with no replay value whatsoever.

The Bird and the Bee Sides was, supposedly, suppose to be entitled The Nashville Tennis EP, until they decided to just mesh it with 13 other songs they’d been either tinkering with or have only played at shows. Every member of the band has written and sang at least one song on the entire thing. Not too shabby if I say so myself. Also not that hard to do with 26 songs.

These spreaders of the good word have brought us a 26-track epic chalk full of Old ‘K and New ‘K. I’ll be reviewing the first 13 (the New ‘K) for now, and I’ll get back to you with the other half on Thursday. Let’s dig in, shall we?

The new stuff begins with a slightly unsettling twang, replaced quickly by a ferocious attack of rapid chords and thrashing drums. The only problem is that the lyrics don’t seem like they should be sung to such a fast song. They lend themselves much better to the slower bits of the first track, “Where Do I Go From Here”. However, the song is fairly catchy, and may even have a few of you tapping your fingers.

The next offering, “The Scene and the Herd” is reminiscent of the Relient K we all knew and loved six or seven years ago. The band that put out such classics as, “Sadie Hawkins Dance”, “Mood Rings”, and the fantastic, “Marilyn Manson Ate My Girlfriend”. The song itself seems to be about the rigors of the music business. ‘K even admits to not knowing if they care that most people will get this song free, because they’re having a good time making the music. I think I’m in love folks.

Song numbers three and four are back to the new, the former having that same twang too it that leaves your head reeling and your mind unwilling to decide if you like it or hate it. It is also unmemorable, and probably worth skipping. The fourth is the same way, except even more so.

We come now to what I’m going to consider the first real single off the CD named, “The Lining Is Silver”. I enjoy this song SO MUCH that I’ve had the CD for two days now, and according to Windows Media Player it has been played 83 times. Yeah, it is THAT good. The track has a slightly ska feel to it, but it palatable to anyone (especially meaningful here, as I detest ska with a fiery passion). If you chose to only listen to one song off of The Bird and the Bee Sides, make it “The Lining Is Silver”.

The first time I listened to “There Was No Thief” I thought Relient K had actually added post-produced vocal reverb into their songs, much like T-Pain of hip hop fame. Then I listened again…and again…and once more, and I realized that Matt Thiessen is singing that himself. That is SKILL folks. PURE SKILL. Even if that doesn’t sell you, the song is about a guy realizing the it was his fault he lost his perfect girl. Pure drama at its best.

“No Reaction” brings a 80s punk vibe to it that I haven’t seen since…the 80s. And I wasn’t even alive back then. Not only that, but it’s short as hell at 1:03. It kind of leaves you wanting a little more of something like, I dunno, song. There is just so little to this track it hardly seems like it should be on the CD at all. Skip it unless you dig the hardcore punk stuff.

Number 8, “Curl Up and Die” gets into your heart and sounds like something The Hush Sound might have considered for their latest release, “Goodbye Blues”. It also brings with it that nagging twang that I’ve come to hate but love at the same time. It annoys me every time I hear it, but it gives such individuality to most of the tracks it’s on that you realize by this point that it’s there for a reason, and that reason is perfectly fine.

“You’ll Always Be My Best Friend” is an indie heart-warmer that brings to mind the Juno soundtrack. As one of the more stand-out tracks on the record (I like the “oooooo”‘s) it symbolized something like unrequited love. But the loving party is perfectly OK with being best friends with the love-ee. A shame it bears the cross of being ridiculously short as well.

The thought that maybe Relient K is starting to realize they’re getting older enters the mind when you play, “There Was Another Time In My Life” for the first time. You get the feeling that the boys might regret some of the things of they’ve done, or at least the people. Oops, did I make an innuendo?

“Beaming” is hard to define in a genre. It’s some kind of mix of ska, reggae and Hawaiian. You want to hear more of it, but YET AGAIN you have a 1 minute song. It’s a shame really, so much good could have come from this record if the songs had been a little longer.

The closing tracks, “I Just Want to Know” and “Bee Your Man” are wonderful adventures to listen to. They both leave your heart filled with so much happy you feel like you’re going to shit cupcakes. The latter doesn’t even try to hide the country twang that has been pestering you throughout the entire album. For god’s sake they have hicks screaming in the background and clapping.

“Bee Your Man” also serves as a closer for The Nashville Tennis EP and a PERFECT opener for The Bird and the Bee Sides. The track closes with the guys in the band talking about The Bird with helium soaked voices and a slightly stoner-like attitude. Come on guys, puff and pass, don’t leave us hangin’.

7.5 out of 10

Download this – “The Lining Is Silver”



1. funnyfrets117 - May 11, 2013

This is not a very good review at all. Just so you know.

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