Album review: BIRDPEN – There’s Something Wrong With Everything

Jar Records [Release date 12.10.18]

BirdPen are a duo hailing from Southampton – singer/songwriter Dave Pen and guitarist, keyboardist Mike Bird. They have been making music since 2003, with this being their fifth full studio album.

Set in the now/near future the songs deal with a disjointed society, rife with social media overload, people reliant on pills to get them by and corrupt world leaders. Yet despite such serious and lets face it, depressing themes, BirdPen have uplifting melodies such as on the single ‘Eyes In The Sky’. Then there is the 80′s indie disco feel to ‘Oh So Happy’, a floor filling anthem if ever there was one at said disco- helped also by Dave Pen’s melodic singing.

‘The End Is On TV’ sees a clever use of electronics and drum patterns. The sparseness of the arrangement recalling Left With Pictures and fellow Southampton based progressive band I.T.

‘This Is Your Life’ starts off with a Pink Floyd approved intro, building up with a percussive drumbeat and bass, before the guitar crashes in halfway through and fades again. Inventive, interesting and exciting to listen to all at the same time.

BirdPen have created an album full of complex music underpinned by strong melodies, that touches upon prog rock, electronica, alt rock and even a touch of indie pop. An album about the times, for the times, don’t let this one pass you by. ****

Review by Jason Ritchie



On Sunday 28 July 2019, David Randall celebrated his 600th show. “Assume The Position” started in June 2007 on UK City Radio before transferring a year later to Get Ready to ROCK! Radio. The show includes tracks played on the first show plus Upton Blues Festival highlights, new music and the regular features “Live Legends” and “Anniversary Rock” which this week celebrates the Island Records label 60th anniversary.

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Power Plays w/c 5 August (Mon-Fri)

COCO MONTOYA I Wouldn’t Wanna Be You (Alligator)
SKYFEVER Burning Hands (OTI Records)
HENRY’S FUNERAL SHOE High Shoulders Everywhere (indie)
MICHAEL J BOLTON Trans Lunar Injection (Market Square)

Featured Albums w/c 5 August (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 STRANDED New Dawn (Escape Music)
12:00-13:00 HOLLOW HAZE Between Wild Landscapes And Deep Blue Sea (Frontiers)
14:00-16:00 SESSION AMERICANA North East (indie)

Albums That Time Forgot (Mon-Fri)

BRIAN ROBERTSON – Diamonds And Dirt (2011)



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