Illinois duo Tweak Bird riffs hard on stoner jams from self-titled debut LP

We admit it, we have a fondness for stoner rock, and the weirder, the better. Tweak Bird fits the bill.

Comprising brothers Ashton and Caleb Bird on drums and guitar, respectively, the southern Illinois duo has converted the mammoth sprawl of prog-metal into short bursts of lean, leathery rock. Produced by Dale Crover of the Melvins and Toshi Kasai of Big Business, Tweak Bird’s self-titled debut (Volcom) is packed with guttural fuzz-tone guitar and savage drums that reverberate like pounding on the gates of Hell.

“Most drummers are into having a good sounding drum kit,” Ashton says in the press notes for the album. “But to me, most drums sound good if you hit them hard. That’s my trick.”

That explains that.

Caleb plays a baritone guitar, pitched halfway between a regular guitar and a bass, and which accounted for the deeper, more resonant sound of a lot of early surf recordings. Both brothers sing hazy, unison melodies that sound as though they’re beaming in from outer space. Or from someone’s mom’s dank basement.

Either way, the effect is electrifying over terse riffage on “Lights in Lines,” and even trippier than usual on “Flyin’ High,” where the reverb-soaked vocals give way to, of all things, a flute solo. It’s not the only woodwind: lead single “A Sun/Ahh Ahh” wends its way around a meandering saxophone solo from part-time contributor John McCowan.

“Tweak Bird” is stoner rock the way it’s meant to be: loud, rugged, sort of dirty and just a little bit ridiculous, in the best way possible.

LISTEN
A Sun/Ahh Ahh mp3

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