As their opening slot at last month’s Wavves show proved – and our bands team enthusiastically reaffirmed – Birdfeeder are Ventura’s newest ones to watch. At just shy of a year old, the band is already making some serious noise in and outside of their hometown community, thanks to a powerful live show, a 400-plus-strong fanbase, and a whole bunch of droney, psych-surf–inspired guitar riffs. At the heart of it all, though, are frontman Cory Soto’s searing vocals, which fall somewhere between the Strokes’ Julian Casablancas and the Growlers’ Brooks Nielsen, and are all drenched in sweet, sweet distortion.
“We all have different [musical] backgrounds, and they’re all pretty dramatically different,” says guitarist David Briceno. “Cory’s into old R&B, soul, and funk, and also hardcore; I was more of a metalhead in middle school and high school. Then I got into indie music.” “I started off listening to rap with my older brother,” recalls drummer Andrew Hoganson, “then I got into punk and metal, then older rock and the classic stuff, like the Beatles.” As for a musical touchstone they can all agree upon, the answer is tried and true: the Beach Boys. “Pet Sounds is our album, I guess,” laughs Briceno.
Influences and favorite albums aside, Birdfeeder succeed because of their balance between new and old: On tracks like “Hotel Bar Lady” Soto’s echoing howls call out to recent psych experiments like the Entrance Band, while the reverb-laden guitar tracks hearken straight back to good ol’ Jimi H.
“It’s like, psychedelic surf rock with balls,” Briceno explains of the Birdfeeder sound. And, in the best way possible, we don’t think he’s that far off. Keep an eye out for Birdfeeder’s newest demo, tentatively scheduled for release in the coming months. And visit myspace.com/birdfeeder805 for a taste of what these youngsters already have to offer.