Shaven Primates’ album “Birds Aren’t Real” is a thought-provoking musical journey that explores themes such as the rise of fascism in social media, the impact of personal decisions on loved ones, the manipulation of language, and the celebration of uniqueness and self-acceptance. Through a diverse range of musical styles and storytelling, the band crafts an album that captivates listeners and leaves them contemplating the complexities of the modern age.
The five-piece band Shaven Primates aspires to push the limits of dark wave, art rock, proto-punk, and other subgenres. Their music tells the story of human emotion and experience; the orchestration makes the audience feel intensely cathartic as it reverberates with love, fear, and fury. They feature a thrashing, grinding bass, wailing guitars, synths that alternate between the retro and the current, rumbling, rolling drums, and crooning, screaming vocals. Their inspiration comes from bands like the Velvet Underground, Kate Bush, Tool, Prodigy, Yes, Clash, David Bowie, Porcupine Tree, and Pink Floyd, as well as their own desire to create music they enjoy.
The band needed to start over and write something that was introspective about the world after spending five years crafting the epic life story album “Child Of Dirt.” This time, they focused on “alt thought,” which is a spin on the web of madness that is spread throughout the world through war, propaganda, lies, slander, hate, denial, and conspiracy. Along with two further songs on a perspective on a loved one’s death and the hardships of growing up in school with an unsuitable mind, they wrote three songs in response to this. “Birds Aren’t Real,” an album that was released on July 28, 2023, was born as a result of this.
In the vast and diverse world of music, there are bands that emerge with a unique sound and thought-provoking themes, capturing the attention and admiration of listeners. One such band is Shaven Primates, a group of talented musicians known for pushing the boundaries of their artistry. Their latest album, titled “Birds Aren’t Real,” is a testament to their musical brilliance and profound storytelling. Comprising five mesmerizing tracks with a runtime of approximately 24 minutes and 42 seconds, this album takes listeners on an exhilarating journey from the opening track “Fade Away” to the closing anthem “Birds Aren’t Real.”
“Birds Aren’t Real” album tracklist
• Fade Away
• A Decision
• Silicon Implants
• Birds Aren’t Real
The album opens with “Fade Away,” a song that immediately grabs your attention with its beautifully crafted guitar riff. The instrumental melody sets the stage for the enthralling vocals that soon follow. The male vocals, delivered with emotion and conviction, blend seamlessly with the instrumental arrangement, drawing listeners into the music’s emotional core. The chorus, with its infectious catchiness, lingers in the mind even after the song ends, leaving an indelible impression.
What makes “Fade Away” even more captivating is the inspiration behind its creation. The song draws influence from the Louis Theroux interviews with YouTubers Nick Fuentes and Baked Alaska, exploring the rise of fascism in social media. Shaven Primates masterfully blends late ’70s and early ’80s elements of punk and post-punk, infusing them with contemporary synth techniques. Guitarist Tom Clark’s opening rolling intro riff serves as a powerful statement of the band’s musical prowess, and from there, they build a rich and engaging sonic landscape. “Fade Away” sets the tone for the entire album, leaving listeners eager to discover what other musical gems await them.
The album’s second track, “A Decision,” immediately commands attention with its powerful drum rolls. The energetic beat elevates the mood and captivates the listener right from the start. Once again, the male dynamic vocals take center stage, effortlessly transitioning between high and low pitches, adding depth and emotion to the song’s poignant theme.
As the band members reveal, “A Decision” delves into the aftermath of a close individual’s decision to end their life. The song artfully explores the emotional impact of this tragic event on those left behind. Shaven Primates expertly embraces a gothic, early ’80s sound, incorporating symphonic and orchestral layers to underscore the magnitude of the personal struggle depicted in the song. The result is a deeply moving and emotionally charged composition that showcases both the band’s musical finesse and their ability to tackle complex and sensitive subjects.
With a burst of energy, “Silicon Implants” demands immediate attention with its drum-driven start. The rhythm and beat make it nearly impossible not to start nodding your head in time with the music. As the male vocals come in, they carry a sense of urgency, urging listeners to pay heed to the song’s message.
“Silicon Implants” takes on the form of a riveting rundown of current observations, artfully comparing them with historic events to remind people of the potential dangers of repeating past mistakes. The song is a commentary on the manipulation of language and the shattering of societal norms, inviting listeners to critically examine the world around them. The line “Nazis Bad” reflects on the dilution of terminology in online arguments and the dangerous excuses used to justify conflicts such as the Ukraine war. Shaven Primates fearlessly tackles these weighty subjects, with lyrics that touch upon Nietzsche, Aldous Huxley’s “Brave New World,” Rabia’s intentions in the Middle East, and Kafka’s skepticism about humanity’s claim to possess complete knowledge of the world.
The song’s instrumentation further complements its bold and thought-provoking theme. The rapid beat down blues track, accompanied by fast Homesick Blues-style vocals, creates an atmosphere of intensity and urgency. The deliberate yet seemingly random interplay of keys and guitar work keeps listeners on their toes, while the assertive bassline adds an extra layer of depth to the composition. “Silicon Implants” is an impressive showcase of Shaven Primates’ ability to weave intricate narratives through music.
“Unmasked” is a moving and emotionally resonant track that weaves together two interconnected stories. The song’s delicate verse emulates the classroom setting, evoking a sense of vulnerability and sensitivity. As the narrative unfolds, the male vocals deliver a heartfelt performance that highlights the struggles faced by those dealing with undiagnosed autism in the past and the newfound support and understanding provided to diagnosed autistic individuals today.
The first perspective portrayed in “Unmasked” revolves around an undiagnosed autistic child enduring a school system that fails to cater to their unique needs and challenges. Through evocative storytelling, the band captures the feelings of isolation and frustration experienced by the child.
The second perspective follows a diagnosed autistic child who is finally receiving the attention and support they deserve. The song celebrates the strength and resilience of individuals who learn to embrace their differences and find confidence in being themselves. The chorus soars with elevating emotions, leaving a lasting impact on the listener.
“Unmasked” is a praise to those who find their way in understanding and learning about their difficulties, emphasizing that they are not broken but beautifully unique. The song is a testament to the power of self-acceptance and compassion, themes that resonate deeply with audiences.
The title track “Birds Aren’t Real” serves as the perfect conclusion to the album, leaving listeners eager for more. As the song begins with astonishing drumming, it immediately captures attention and sets the stage for what promises to be an unforgettable finale. The vocals then come in, delivering a soothing yet captivating effect that draws listeners further into the song.
The track playfully explores the viewpoint of an alternative truth, proposing a humorous conspiracy theory that birds are, in fact, government-created cybernetic organisms used for surveillance. Shaven Primates cleverly infuses the song with a Spanish flair for no particular reason other than the band’s preference, adding a fun and unexpected twist to the composition. The chorus takes a sudden punk throwback, giving the track an infectious energy that is impossible to resist.
“Birds Aren’t Real” embodies the band’s ability to seamlessly blend various musical elements and deliver an engaging and entertaining performance. The song’s cheerful yet thought-provoking lyrics invite listeners to question and challenge the narratives presented to them, all while enjoying the infectious melody and dynamic instrumentation.
Shaven Primates’ latest album, “Birds Aren’t Real,” is a remarkable musical journey that captivates listeners from start to finish. Each track offers a unique blend of musical styles and storytelling, addressing profound themes that resonate deeply with the audience.
For the best listening experience, immerse yourself in the musical brilliance of Shaven Primates by enjoying the album from start to end. “Birds Aren’t Real” not only showcases the band’s passion for music but also exhibits excellent production quality that enhances the overall experience. Whether you are a fan of punk, post-punk, or simply crave thought-provoking music, this album promises to leave a lasting impression and will undoubtedly have you hitting the repeat button for more.
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