As surf-pop enjoys a renaissance with bands such as The Drums and Best Coast leading the way, Two Wounded Birds are perfectly placed to ride the crest of the current wave of popularity.
The Margate four-piece have already had a stint touring with the Brooklyners, not to mention having an EP released on Drums guitar player Jacob Graham’s label. So it’ll come as no surprise to hear that Two Wounded Birds sound like a raucous version of a certain Californian five-piece from around 1959.
But while the windswept pier and rainy promenade of their native Margate may be some way from the Californian West Coast, Two Wounded Birds have clearly picked up on the melodies of Wilson and co.
Singer-songwriter Johnny Danger is not ashamed to admit this influence. “Obviously The Beach Boys, straight up. But then there are less obvious ones, like The Cramps and The Doors.” Sure you can hear the influences, but they’re certainly no imitators; Danger has his own unique south-east twang.
Songs such as ‘Summer Dream’ and ‘Keep Dreaming, Baby’ are not just reminiscent of early 1960s surf-pop; they could easily be mistaken for the real deal. But then to describe Two Wounded Birds as simply a surf-pop revivalist band would be a disservice to them. ‘Night Patrol’ is their dark and moody blues-rock number, which sounds like something straight out of an eighties horror film so menacing is its hook. Meanwhile Johnny gives a nod to Morrissey on ‘My Lonesome’, while fellow members Alison Blackgrove, Tommy Akers and Jimmy Davies combine to form a hazy and brooding, reverb-laden backdrop.
Two Wounded Birds have deservedly been given a considerable amount of radio play recently, becoming firm favourites of BBC Radio 1’s more indie stalwarts Steve Lamacq and Huw Stephens. “It’s really nice to hear something you’ve worked so hard on being played on the radio, and being appreciated by the people.” He pauses for a second and laughs, “but it’s never enough, never enough.”
Last summer was a busy one for Two Wounded Birds, with a number of UK festivals, but Danger is ambitious and has his eyes set on an album deal. “I know most of the songs that are going to be on the album. I’d love to of got it out at the end of the summer or in September, to coincide with the festivals, but it’s out of my hands.”
As for the future? “The writing process never stops,” he insists, “I hate it when bands take ages bringing out new records. I’ll get going on the second one as soon as the first one is out.”
Words: Liam Stephenson
Photo: Michael Robert Willimas