The windy city during the mid 90s was a whirlwind of punk rock bands that came and went, but their reputations and influence still resonate to this day. There is one modern day street punk band that has emerged from the shadows and is currently tearing up the city of Chicago one mosh pit at a time. That band is, October Bird Of Death. If the name hasn’t already caught your attention, I assure you, their music will.
Death made its offer is 8 songs clocking in at 18 minutes. These guys may only be a little over a year old, but let me assure you that this is no ordinary cookie cutter punk band. This band also has a few seasoned veterans of the Chicago punk scene. This fact alone is a recipe for punk rock greatness. Darren Davick was the guitarist of the legendary celtic/punk/folk band Ballydowse and Sid Diffour played for the mighty Headnoise. Wiley Willis, the vocalist not only belts out his ferocious screams in October Bird of Death but also sings for the Legendary Jesus Christ hardcore band The Blamed. (JCHC) Bryan Gray of the Blamed loaned his production talent to this album and is also the unofficial sixth member. Every member of this band has so much prior rock-n-roll experience that it would be almost impossible for them to write a bad song.
Lets start with the first track. “This is Our Lives”. Shortly after the strummed guitar harmonic begins to blast through your car speaker, we can already tell that this track will be fast, rowdy and mosh pit worthy. Within a few seconds, Wiley graces us with a gruff and tough “Whoaaaaaa” to start the album. Wiley is passionate about his beliefs and his lyrics clearly show it throughout the next 18 minutes.
The beginning of the chorus says, “With our voices we shall yell! With our fists we will fight to hell”. This song is a call to action
Wiley’s brutish and raw vocal delivery fits in well alongside other punk rock alum such as Tim Armstrong of Rancid and one of my personal favorites, Chuck Ragan, of Hot Water Music. Although Octobirds music in my opinion is nothing like Hot Water, Wiley’s vocal stylings sure do remind me of Chuck Ragan
Octobird is street punk at its finest with doses of melodic punk thrown in at times. I sensed a dash of the band Fugazi, with the punchy bass line that clearly stands out in the song “Fire in Those Eyes”.
My personal favorite track is “Goons”, which has a guest appearance by Kyle Bawenkel of Flatfoot 56 and street punk band Brick Assassin. His voice adds to the toughness of the track and drops a reference to the Chicago south side. The song speaks of being labeled and being proud to be working class.
The aggression stays on track all the way to song 6 and just when you thought it couldn’t get any rowdier, it does. “Art Deco Skull Fracture” clocks in at a whopping 18 seconds and delivers a Chuck Norris round house kick to the throat of pure Minor Threat, early AFI sounding bliss. This 8 song album will surely be the most enjoyable 18 minutes that your ears will experience all year.
The cult classic movie Spinal Tap has a line in it where the band member is showing off his amp to the interviewer. He is proud of the fact that his amps volume goes to 11, When asked, “why not just keep it at 10?”, he responds, “Because it goes to 11.” So with that in mind folks, lets turn this record up to 11 and get those neighbors pounding on the walls.
“Death Made Its Offer” drops on March 13 and below you will see a link to their sites and to a Big Cartel site where you can get some incredible merch package deals starting on the 13th.