There’s noth­ing wrong with the Southamp­ton alt-prog­gers’ dream­ily groovy fifth.

Prog - - Intro -

It would be a mis­take, you’d think, to get cor­nered by Birdpen at a din­ner party. Thank­fully, the duo – made up of Dave Pen of Archive, and Mike Bird – spend a lot more time work­ing on their mu­sic than they did their band name. The re­sults are a splen­did mix of psych rock, elec­tron­ics and a doomy am­bi­ence, which makes you think they might get a bit maudlin af­ter a drink or two. It’s a glo­ri­ous sound they make, though, and There’s Some­thing Wrong With Ev­ery­thing is beau­ti­ful in the way that sheets of dense rain and black clouds can be beau­ti­ful when framed against a vista of rugged coun­try­side. Theirs is the sound­track to the come­down af­ter an es­pe­cially span­gled bank hol­i­day week­end, spacey and strangely wel­com­ing, even if their lyrics tend to want to bite. There are touches of Syd Bar­rett-era Pink Floyd, a dash of Can, even some down­beat folksy notes on the es­pe­cially good Nat­u­ral Re­wards. Ku­dos must also go to the dark majesty of the brood­ing ti­tle track, and the hol­lowed out Good News, which sounds like it could have been a lat­ter-day Re­place­ments out-take – and that is very much meant as a com­pli­ment.

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