Review: Brave Bird, “T-Minus Grand Gesture

Posted 3 years ago by Joel Funk
Popular children’s game, Pokemon, describes Brave Bird as “An attack that deals damage, and the user receives recoil damage equal to 1/3 of the damage dealt.” Interestingly enough, this description also suits the Michigan-based outfit of the same name. The music they’re known for making is raw and unapologetic. You can feel every ounce of thought and emotion they put into each song. The band released their debut LP early last year on Count Your Lucky Stars Records and just over a year later are gearing up to release a new EP called T-Minus Grand Gesture

T-Minus Grand Gesture is a seven song EP that takes everything that makes emo the genre that it is, refines it, and shows you everything that it should be.

The record starts off with I Don’t Wanna Know. The first 45 seconds of the song consists of a slow and steady beat with vocals that couldn’t possibly be more apathetic. At around the one minute mark, the song goes through a complete transformation. It’s at this point that everything picks up musically and the vocals take on a more emotionally saturated tone. That change is something that I can honestly say I appreciate. Those vocals really drive everything home and show you just how important communication is to the guys in Brave Bird.

How often do you hear that a band sounds like Brand New? Probably too often. I never thought I’d be guilty of saying it, but here I am. Rekindle shows off the slower side of Brave Bird at its best. With vocals that are right up to par with emo “demigod”, Jesse Lacey, this song could very easily bring the guys to new heights in terms of exposure. I can say without question that fans of Brand New will be left pining for songs unheard when they hear this song for the first time. It would be foolish on all counts to not release Rekindle as a single.

TMINUSGRANDGESTURE was released as the lead single for the record. Once you hear it, it’s pretty clear why they chose this track above something like Rekindle. The track is incredibly well written, and showcases all of what Brave Bird does best in a 5 minute time frame. This track is emotionally supercharged and extremely catchy. The super repetitive chorus will find no trouble getting stuck in your head and sticking with you. I only wish that the music was a little more reflexive of the various changes in vocal delivery. There are moments in this song that could have been gut wrenching had the vocals and the music been on the same page.  

Hard Enough sounds like it could very easily be a Joyce Manor b-side. Just barely making it to the two minute mark, the song is short but so, so sweet. Musically, this is easily the most upbeat song on the tracklist. That doesn’t last too long though because this track is followed by what is potentially the saddest song on the whole record. Open Up Your Mouth is so phenomenal. This is the one song on the whole record I find difficult to talk about. I get butterflies listening to it. Trust me, it’s one of the best songs Brave Bird has released – period.

Both Macaroni Time and Killer Velocity are incredibly fuzzy sounding tracks. The former of the two very quickly becomes a song in the same vein as Hard Enough. It’s another one of those super short and just as sweet jams that would feel right at home in any summer mixtape. The beginning vocals are incredibly urgent in sound and they compliment the incredibly precise guitar work so effortlessly. Killer Velocity closes the record. This time around, that fuzzy quality feels incredibly nostalgic, and thus incredibly warm. Unfortunately, that feeling of warmth comes without closure. Which ultimately makes the record feel incomplete. It just feels like the band had more that they wanted to say, but they ran out of time.

Even with that, the growth between Maybe You, No One Else Worth It and T-Minus Grand Gesture is undeniable. I cannot wait to see what the future has in store for these guys, because they have so much potential to do big things. I feel like I say that a lot, but I genuinely mean it. It’s only a matter of time before the right Brave Bird song catches the right persons ears and we’ve got another Brand New on our hands.

****.5/*****