Published on July 23rd, 2020 | by Jada Smithereens0
Seth Faergolzia’s Multibird Album Review
Rochester, NY – If you’ve ever taken a stroll down the jagged back-roads of classic antifolk, surely you’ve come to meet some chipper and irreverent songs with minds of their own, songs with enough guts and chutzpah to jump right out of the record player, stand up for themselves and fight for what they believe in. It is on the strength of twelve such fantastic tunes that Multibird’s 2020 debut takes flight.
The brains, lungs and ribcage behind the feathery firestorm is Seth Faergolzia of Dufus lore. One of antifolk’s most fearless songwriters and most feared vocalists, Faergolzia has crafted his own blend of rock music that requires balance to pull off even as it embraces sheer chaos.
Indeed, plenty of moments on this record take on an almost impossible shape, as if the music were continuously falling to pieces, but the pieces just keep stompin’ forward, unbowed even to the force of gravity.
Out of the night, a nostalgic whistle brings us in and we’re off and running with “Riot,” the cut of whose jib is wistful and hopeful even as it hardly lets off the throttle. The first glimpse at Multibird’s many faces, “Riot” proceeds with all the understated confidence of a tortoise and all the truculence of a charging bull.
As the party really gets going, with show-stoppers such as “Weirdly Weathered” and “Wander,” one feels swept away with the players, as if the chatty drummers in your school’s orchestra tied up the conductor and led the band into the street to play and sing as a parade-train into the sunrise.
Speaking of trains, “Rubberband” is a western-tune for the locomotivally-inclined. A favorite of BBC’s Tom Robinson, “Rubberband” boasts a country-twang chorus riff that revs along like a technicolor Western played at triple speed, but the tumbling whirlwind conclusion clues us in that we can’t stop here, this is Dufus country.
Adventurers hungry for oddball theatre (a la NYC’s legendary venue Surf Reality, where Faergolzia’s avant-garde musical “Fun Wearing Underwear” saw a run of packed houses in 1998) will find themselves right at home at the topsy-turvy celebration that is “Yup’s Birthday.” Between the full-band’s foot-stompin’, in a moment of Beefheartian befuddlement, fine feathered friends come to life and dial you into the hidden meeting of the minds: “What are ya, some kind of a duck?….What the Jennifer? Holy kelly- hey! What the Kelly?!” What the Kelly, indeed!
Tracks like “Quing” and “Thank You Computer,” maintain composure within their playfulness, as when Faergolzia relays ‘We are the bigness, the is-ness not the business.’ Strength in numbers is the key. As the group vocals give way to a unified shout, the listener is invited to climb aboard, to the tune of, ‘Sing your horrible song, sing your horrible song…uuyuuyeeyooyeuyoohoooo…’
And the call for action rings in our ears even after the record runs its course. Far from shouting AT the listener, Faergolzia and his entourage use song to invite the rest of us to raise our voices with them. To the tune of “Riot,” whose song is heard for miles around: ‘When the moment comes I feel it, when the moment’s here I hope you’ll feel it too.’ //