Junkyard Birds
Doomed to Be Underground
/self-released; 2002/

rating : 8.5


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Here come the mighty Junkyard Birds who will save rock’n’roll from nu-metal. This band is a trio from France whose main influence is – I would say – the tremendous Black Sabbath; but let’s not forget that their great name refers to the Yardbirds and that they are also influenced by Led Zeppelin or Canned Heat for example. Their music is exceptional stoner played with ironic hard-rock clichés. It is sometimes heavy, sometimes speedy, sometimes it even sounds bluesy. The band combines a powerful bass, a 7 strings guitar (both tuned down to B), and incredible drums fills.

“Doomed to be Underground (…but for how long)” is a cheap live recording but despite the awful sound, you can feel their power and their energy. Forget Fu Manchu, the Junkyard Birds kick ass live and they make you feel like head banging, jumping everywhere and making Satan signs with your fingers.

“Starsky & Hutch” is a 3 minutes speedy and heavy song at the same time. In my opinion, the stand-out songs of this 7 tracks cd are “Maze of Gloom” and “I wanna see heaven”. “Maze of Gloom”’s arpeggios convey a graveyard atmosphere which is perfect for the voice to utter “I let my spirit wander in a maze of gloom”. Then, a powerful stoner riff and a catchy yet impressive guitar solo deliver an amazing energy. The lyrics often tell blue stories and upsetting truths. Thus, “I wanna see heaven” starts with the sentence “I wanna see heaven before I die”. It is an astonishing heavy song which contains strong riffs (the introductive one in particular). “Gravitation” is the same kind of song, a bit longer though. Finally, “Mirror of Black Diamond”, which may refer to the great Kiss song “Black Diamond” (first album), ends this cd on a cryptic tone disrupted by heavy passages.

We are eager to listen to a proper studio album so that we could play it loudly in our cars with beers in a cool box in the trunk, our elbows resting on opened window panes, wandering through the streets and highways, head banging and wearing sunglasses. Even if we all used to listen to Guns’n’Roses and AC/DC during our early years in high school, we did not necessarily dream to play music loudly in our cars and make old people think we are Satanists; but as the leader of “The Rebels” said: “we lack these guys playing hard rock loudly in their cars”. 

 Don’t hesitate to contact them before they become rock-stars and before they have their own TV show (like Ozzy Ozbourne): junkyardbirds@libertysurf.fr  

-SEB WOOd (with a little help from Matt Le Rock)