BIRDS of Tokyo are angry and their new album Brace is a brutal indictment on the state of the world.
Sounding like a cross between Tool and, of course, Karnivool (which shares its lead singer), the band has turned it up to 11, creating an album full of hard riffs and barely controlled aggression.
As the band prepares to embark on a national tour beginning in Perth, lead singer Ian Kenny said the direction the album took was indicative of the political climate, both locally and globally.
“The record is a reflection of what we see and the world that we’re living in at the moment,” Kenny said.
“We’re using this record to point out some issues in our world that we just don’t agree with.
“We just can’t help but notice that there’s some pretty crazy s*** going on in our world.
“With that sort of subject matter, you’re going to get a harder and heavier reaction to the music.”
And heavy it is; with producer Dave Bottrill at the helm – the man who helped bring to life Tool’s Aenima and Lateralus – Brace is a tour de force.
Bottrill is no one-trick pony, having also worked with Muse, Toni Childs and Peter Gabriel.
Kenny said working with the Canadian was a thrill.
“He really helped get the path down for this record and get the band heading in the right direction,” he said.
“He really pushed us as players. I can’t rate him high enough.”
The shift in direction was evident from early on in the creative process.
“It came down to a lot of guitar-driven parts,” Kenny said.
“Adam (Spark, guitarist) started writing riffs again… in that heavier rock style.
“Before that, the band went for far more textural sort of pieces and our songs were very layered.
“This one was a return back to aggressive, heavier riffs.
“Once we figured out it was heading down that road, we thought we could really give this some weight and give it some muscle.”
Brace was released on Friday.
What: Birds of Tokyo
Where: Metropolis Perth
When: November 17