Heavy Manners

by Sick Sick Birds

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about

Baltimore's Sick Sick Birds present their debut LP, and we couldn't be happier to be involved with this band on their third release. This album is leaps and bounds ahead of what they were doing on their "Chemical Trains" EP, which is one hell of a feat as that record did not disappoint in the least. The songs here are tighter, cleaner, and more vivid. The band takes a bit more of a relaxed approach here, but that doesn't mean it doesn't pack the same punch as it used to, its blows are just more precise. The hooks are there for sure, they're just a bit more subtle, which ends up making them all the more effective. If you've become used to the bands previous material then this stuff will certainly knock you back a bit, but it's got claws that'll grab you immediately. Elements of 1990s indie greats like the Pixies, Superchunk, Chisel, and Juliana Hatfield are prevalent, but there are also nods to Athens' Elephant Six scene as well. We were quite blown away when we first heard this recording and have no doubt you will be as well.

credits

released June 28, 2009

Mike Hall: Guitar, Vocals
Bobby Borte: Guitar, Vocals
Melissa Jacobsen: Bass, Vocals
Matt Dorsey: Drums

Tim Baier: additional guitars
John Irvine: trumpet
Produced and engineered by Daniel Black

Toxic Pop Records #9

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Sick Sick Birds Baltimore, Maryland

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Track Name: Buildings
something about a pint glass breaking always makes your night go better; super-city face on the cover; a quick strike for a smart-ass stutter; tired shock from the last-ditch rockers; stock photos and broken deals; brash plans from late night talkers and beds made from bad ideas.

let's have a round for the truest kind of mania; You throw it down to bring it back - it's all in vain.

your resignation tendered, risen up the bottleneck; sell your blood & you're a lifelong member; whatever was, of course, has been; beyond ripe and into rotten; it's a hard sell but you've got all day; pretend you can't remember names.

and it's your chance to unload; this building's not to code; they're biding their time but they just keep you on.

something about a pint glass breaking always makes your night go better;
big city face on the cover; a quick strike for a smart-ass stutter; tired shock from the last-ditch rockers; stock photos and broken deals; a passing wave for the mild and the sane; convince the room you can't explain.

let's have a round for the truest kind of mania; you throw it down to bring it back - it's all in vain; and it's your chance to unload; this building's not to code; they're biding their time and they'll just keep you on; and you're on until you're gone; you're always on, and you're on until you're gone.
Track Name: Your Machine
you're a finishing agent (you're made for the latenight); all lined up (at the end of the line); when the dust settles (what does it look like?); you're cinching loose ends (at the end of the line).

And your ID's found "new daughter of our shady town;" got you a key to the city but they couldn't find you around.

we've got hours left of nothing left to say; and it's all been beat to death now anyway; and I've seen you do everything you can to make a scene and I'm standing between you and your machine.

you've got a batch of one-liners (you're ripe for the press corps); and a fresh new spin (for the ones on the phone); but it crumbles so fast (when you let your guard down); keep your hands hemmed in (you got nothing to show).

If you burn all the records you're the one that time forgot; and you say you're coming close because your voice is shot.

failed finale, you're too tired to pretend; so now you're coding all the messages you send; as close as I will ever get to see you coming clean
and i'm standing between you and your machine.

well we buy too high (but we're selling it higher); just a touch of misery (make it fly off the shelves); doling out the praise (to the louts and liars)
and rooftop decrees (until there's no one to tell).

everyone's game for the next despot rebuild; you're giving off impressions by your thrills; playing house with found money makes it easier to spill.

we got hours left of nothing left to say; and it's all been beat to death now anyway; and I've seen you do everything you can to make a scene
and I'm standing between you and your machine.
Track Name: Second to Last
Stay away from the suitcaser crowd, they'll keep you for hours; step back but they keep crowding in; falling back to the fallback plans, but there's plenty of options; it's not the same when you've got no skin in the game - peering out from the last estate.

hey somebody give this place a shove to get back to what we were thinking of;
you always get your dirty work done on the second to last goodbye.

singing past generation's songs; we'll build a dam, we'll work the land
on our knees with the best-laid trampled plans; losing out wringing calloused hands, and keeping your standing; and fall in like a tragic champion does when he's too tired to hold a grudge.

hey somebody give this place a shove to get back to what we were thinking of;
you always get your dirty work done on the second to last goodbye; all measured out to the extreme ready with the ring of gasoline; you always get your dirty work done on the second to last goodbye.

leaving pennies on tracks and pulling bags on backs; and keeping close to the vest; she pulls the clippings from the weekly readers; she says "he's always been nice to me;" every night of the week's the same; everyone wants in the cool kids card game; but it doesn't matter what you say because you won't get in so you fan the flames.
Track Name: Hearts and Their Minds
you changed your hair and I noticed. it's the little things. one lie and now I guess you own us, and no one says a thing. it's been hard right from the start - no nice clean tear. it's over now, mouther breather wildcard. hey, listen! bitch, you only got here clutching coat tails.

and you'd be surprised what people leave behind in the rush to get out town.
we were cartoons walking in the ruins. buried treasure map to nowhere. who needs love when you've got a grudge?

sure there will be fissure opportunists and old guard dinosaurs. laissez faire out there making bomb throwing babies with resolution scars.

more small talk at the trough. we hold these truths, you hold the reigns. busy with the introductions, but you forgot to remember the country's name. spin it like we are fragile and say 'we did it all for you.' it's on every channel but that doesn't make it true.

and you'd be surprised how many will defend a lie. shell shocked and bored.
we were cartoons walking in the ruins.
Track Name: Sometimes It's the Bone
Yeah, i know that i'm on the hook for all the things i said; for a thousand choked out promises; and desperate jokes make ugly friends with heels dug in; i know i ask for trust at a strange time.

The doubting profiteers, they're all coming clear; you've got to get it while you can; and for the disremembered, it's their finest hour; they're zeroed in on the buzzsaw.

We're looking for something that we can quantify; that can get us by; you've got to believe me this time; we're flipping the pillow onto the cold side; the relief of the war bride; we find assurance where we will

Here's to smiling through your teeth when you feel like throwing bricks; sometimes it's the bone! tears dried on the acrid side we gave up on the fix;
Sometimes it's the bone!

Sing a hateful song for all the hangers on until you find a real solution;
same song every night; we're gonna' say our prayers because it might turn out there is a god; it's fucking snowing in town; you can see it in the streetlights; it's still coming down even as the birds are coming home.
Track Name: I Laid it Down
took to the city like the wolves in the fables. a natural sinner? well, it all depends. caught staring at the clock on the wall to note the time of death. just pack your bags so i know you left.

someone saw you doing lines at the window tables. you are getting faster every day. it's a modern world but somehow still spaghetti western. unpack your bags so i know you'll stay.

missing information ban like only your loneliness can. on again off again(laundry lists), off again to your go-to man(a spear in the chest). one more chance or another all-nighter. we salute you, brave bullfighter.

we pass each other as the sun is coming up. there will always be something
there, even if it's not enough. when i laid it down, i thought one more sad, sad song. just pack you backs so i know you're gone.
Track Name: Committees (Need a Champion)
he'll say anything to buy some time; quelling all the calls to arms - stamping out the urgency; on sale now! a soothing way to drown; he's got a program full of future plans.

one hand works the combination(need a message broker); while one foot ventures to the ledge (need a message broker); desperate grabs for desperate needs meet calls for sensibility; you know we've got to keep our heads; the committees need a champion.

holding up your letters from your devotees; and everybody's coming home to step up to the microphone; enough said - time to sink our dead; some problems you can salt away for someone else.
Track Name: Power Plant
man says before you get to talking, you better check your options; the line runs the same route every time; a lot of people got a lot of nerve
to ask for more than they deserve; out of pocket and out of line

you've got to stand up without standing out; stand up you can stand a little sting; and the thugs demand humility and if you just hold your tongue you know; and you'll get the message, you will; you get used to anything.

the rise and fade of the summer sounds of a far off radio; sunday drivers get the right of way; a good deal for the likes of you; still good for a burn or two; but the water feels good today.

as tight-lipped as you can and there's room for every man; the water's always warm at the beach near the powerplant; channel the sun and lock it in.

everyone's hanging around by the sunbaked tires; next crowd's coming in;
ankle deep in mud and clay where all the old ghosts gave up their say because the water feels so good; and in some other place and time, you'll have the will to bleed 'em dry, but it's not gonna be today.

quit stirring up the uncles now and keep your lips shut tight; and alkaline twinges can't stop the sunday binges, because the water feels so good.