Yes, it’s been six years since Birds In Row unleashed their devastating Deathwish debut You, Me, & the Violence. Listeners were given a taste of what the band was up to with 2016’s frenzied EP, Personal War, which only left us salivating for more. But in an industry currently dominated by quantity over quality, it’s refreshing that the French trio (operating as single entity under a veil of anonymity just as before), took their time in releasing We Already Lost The World, one of the most punishing hardcore records in recent memory.
What’s made Birds In Row one of the powerful staples in hardcore is how precise the band is with their execution and vision – the brevity within their vicious arsenal is an essential tool, always giving the listener moments to catch their breath but never lingering too long after making their statement. Birds In Row waste no time establishing their presence, kicking off We Already Lost The World with the scorching “We Count so We Don’t Have to Listen,” a frenetic opener that displays the band’s mastery of heavy noise existing within the ambient space created. It’s that type of combustable energy that populates the nine-track record – “I Don’t Dance” and “Triste Sire” showcase how beautifully frenzied Birds In Row brand of hardcore can get at times, while “Love Is Political” explodes with bombastic fervor that rivals the very best of the legendary Converge.
And just like Converge, Birds In Row is at their finest when they explore the melodic elements within all the aggression. The dynamic “We vs. Us” balances clean vocals against a post-punk vibe that builds into a grippingly anguished outro. The melancholic “Morning” is as powerful as it is expansive, resulting in one of the most impassioned Birds In Row tracks ever. It sets the table for the album’s sobering closer “Fossils,” relying on a soaring yet blackened shoegaze-tilt that prioritizes the album’s only attempt at vocal harmonies amongst the simmering wall of harsh sound.
The heart of album is entrenched on first single “15-38,” which blends mid-tempo despondency with frantic blasts of violent guitar chords, a seesaw battle of controlled chaos. It illustrates the band’s dedication to never settling on just one path or idea and that the disparity between tones and influences is not only welcomed but encouraged throughout We Already Lost The World, culminating as Birds In Row’s ultimate vision of what challenging, progressive hardcore can be.