v happy to have witnessed the power that was the birthing hips live show. every single one of these people are incredible musicians. sad to see them go but this album is their best yet <3333
NNA Tapes is very excited to welcome Boston, Massachusetts-based Birthing Hips to the family. Over the last decade, Boston has proved itself to be a creative melting pot for a new wave of uniquely deranged rock bands. The city’s rich history of punk, combined with its strong DIY culture, plus its local concentration of formal music schools have merged together in a bubbling stew, yielding an abundance of highly talented, energetic, and unruly new acts. At the forefront of this new crop is Birthing Hips, a noisy four-piece known for their virtuosic players and intense live performances. Following up their 2016 self-released debut ‘No Sorry,’ their latest release ‘Urge To Merge’ continues their ruthless trajectory into more aggressive, yet more refined, territory.
The four members of Birthing Hips operate like a finely tuned machine: each part operating independently, but when functioning together as a whole, it yields tremendously effective results. Although their rock and roll roots are undeniable, the genre’s cliches are consciously avoided - intros can be more like preludes, the verse/chorus format is only loosely followed, and endings are creatively fragmented and self-destructive. The traditional format of guitar, bass, drums, and vocals are simultaneously tied to inventive song structures, but also free to improvise individually, creating a looseness and tension that draws as much from jazz as it does from punk. Wendy Eisenberg’s guitar takes on many forms, proving that she is in in full control of her instrument - at times Sun City Girls, sometimes Slayer, other times Sonny Sharrock. Her complex 32nd note passages weave seamlessly with Andres Abenante’s mammoth basslines, burning holes through his impeccably placed and deeply deliberate riff structures. Owen Liza Winter’s drumming sprays forth in a frantic shuffle, darting in and out of rhythm with plenty of individual character. Their range on the kit is displayed by switching from blastbeats, to jazz shuffles, to locked-in grooves at the drop of a dime. Carrie Furniss’ vocals tie everything together with her highly dynamic voice, using whispers, howling, and classic dramatic embellishments as her weapons of communication. In the profound moments when all of these roles align and lock together, it is a truly powerful musical moment that can be devastatingly satisfying to the listener. These recordings were all performed live in real time, a quality which not only adds a tangible rawness to the sound, but also demonstrates the improvisatory tightness of its players.
The lyrical themes on ‘Urge To Merge’ range from menacing to sarcastic to existential, reflective of a person pushed to their boiling point in the face of social bullshit and modern injustice. Birthing Hips’ juxtaposition of female vocals with blistering noise rock suggests notions of traditional femininity being smashed to pieces, like glitter being sprayed out of a can of mace. Buried within these songs’ bestial exterior, however, is an underlying melodic core of pop, showing an informed understanding and appreciation of all types of music from its creators.