Foo Fighters’ Taylor Hawkins and Chevy Metal’s Wiley Hodgden and Mick Murphy go from touring cover band to tribute collage with a new side project, The Birds Of Satan. Their multi-faceted debut is particularly impressive for something recorded in under a week. Though hardly game-changing, it’s a hard rock record that makes for unpredictably pleasurable listening.

Hawkins is raring to deliver the goods, commencing with nine-and-a-half minute ruckus, ‘The Ballad Of The Birds Of Satan’. Despite Dave Grohl’s co-writing, the self-portrait of an opener quickly dispels any preconceived notions of likeness to the Foos, past croons of “We’ve seen it all before”. It spirals into some jig-worthy salsa, and a comprehensive mishmash of influences and musical styles. The Birds follow up by delving into rock’n’roll grandiosity with piano-driven ‘Thanks For The Line’, while ‘Pieces Of The Puzzle’ transforms from reggae-laced summer song to magnetic stadium rocker.

Guitar solos weaved into every track provide heavier transitions away from emotional leanings, from the softer ‘Raspberries’ that feels like an Aerosmith ballad, to the Queen-like chorales alternating with raw acoustics on ‘Too Far Gone To See’ – a hard-hitting finale that (literally) shuts the door on a satisfying conclusion.

3.5/5 Stars

The Birds Of Satan is out now through Shanabelle.

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