This is a review of "Choking" recorded by The Birthday Kiss. The review was written by Jimmy Horrigan in 2012.
Love is in the air then, which in our house was excuse enough for me to cook some beautiful rib-eye with all the customary trimmings for my Mrs Pickle. The fact we regularly have a steak, usually on a Tuesday and that I cook 99% of the meals doesn't detract any from the romance though. After all it's not after every meal, even the steak ones, where I go the extra mile and present my partner with a pot of chocolate mousse and a teaspoon for dessert. But this is a special day after all whether or not you celebrate Chaucerian creations, gangster massacres, or whatever today actually is about. So we finished our mousses and as always let our blind dog lick what was left in the pots and now everybody's happy. The dog is asleep on the couch next to the beautiful Mrs Pickle, herself content from the tummy outwards and by now hopefully gambling us to dizzying riches via several unsuspecting video poker websites, whilst I sit in my favourite rocking chair - headphones on, glass of red at my side and a word document growing ever slowly into something resembling a review. I know what you're thinking; yes we are the epitome of modern love.
When I spotted a local band releasing their debut single today, I felt the urge to share my amour de la vie with the lovely readers of Leeds Music Scene and let you know all about it. So here I am then, sharing that love. The Birthday Kiss have produced a debut single that offers bright sunshine through the often dimly lit heart of unrequited love on "Choking". I remember teenage times of the sticky palms, dry throat and jumping heartbeats caused by seeing that unattainable somebody walk by. Gazing as they floated past you like a dream, oblivious of your existence was a rough ride. However the song manages to affect optimism, energy and positivity from the quest for that special someone turning a hopeless feeling into an uplifting message. Well, sort of. "How's it going to feel, waiting for somebody to love you?" shouldn't be as cool a chorus as it is but it really does pack a pop-punch and had me tapping away on first play and singing along by the second, third or fourth.
Catchy hooks, sexy vocals, cool synths and tight drumming all come together to make a great piece of indie-pop pie. Several influences are evident but none of them are so strong that they put me off. This is emulated spirit and style rather than replicated sounds. I could hear similarities to Blondie and early to mid-90's "girls with guitars" indie groups but in fairness I like those sounds, I grew up with those bands and I probably loved girls from afar with those songs playing as a soundtrack to my "centre-parted frustrated indie-boy seeks individual girl that likes Doc Martins" former life at some point. A slightly more contemporary and obvious comparison, again not really a negative, would be The Long Blondes. Do I say now that the start of the tune reminded me of "Holding out for a hero" by [insert shudder] Bonnie Tyler, mixed in some strange musical petri dish with the guitar from Blondie's "Atomic"? I should have possibly said that somewhere else but what's done it done.
All in all this is very respectable debut and I'm looking forward to hear what The Birthday Kiss come up with for their album. More pop please.