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‘Rare Birds: Hour of Song’: The Bug Club’s Charming and Eclectic Odyssey

Courtesy of Bug Club Bandcamp

In addition to my review of a 2024 album that releases every Friday, this lovely record popped in my inbox last Wednesday, it's by a British band called The Bug Club; it truly rocks and I need to talk about it. 

I thought, from the cover at least, that it would be another cutesy 10-track indie rock record that pleasantly surprises me but doesn’t wow me in any way — a true 6/10. I was wrong. 

This is a hidden gem of 2023 and an album I am mad that I didn’t put on my best of 2023 list. This release is a behemoth 47 track, hour and five minute long record about birds, how they are similar to humans and the idiosyncrasies of the human condition we find ourselves in. 

The record operates with half of the tracklist being short but sweet power pop BANGERS and the other being incredibly short spoken word sketches — usually of the realm of saying a word or two about the next song. This could get old fast, however, with the ludicrously fast pace of the album, it doesn't. 

Each track flies at you so fast that you can’t even comprehend what has happened, one would normally equate that with a bad record, but The Bug Club plays off the hastiness of the whole thing quite tongue and cheek. It reminds me of the kitchiness of Kimya Dawson and the Moldy Peaches — or the folksy rock ballads of The Kinks. 

Highlights off this one are “Marriage,” “We Can’t All Play Saxophones,” “Do It All Again” and “Rare Birds.” Each track has an alluring amount of personality to them — where you can’t help but smile, laugh and cry along with the band. 

By the time the record is over, you wish that there was more stuff to enjoy. Its charm and charisma won’t get every one though, that is my one criticism of the record: it is a little too niche to go outside of its semi-pretentious audience, but when it hits you it really hits you. 

This record shook up my whole holiday weekend, to the point where I could not stop humming the melodies off this record, both vocal and instrumental. The lo-fi worship on this album might come off as annoying to some, but to those who pay attention, you’ll find a mesmerizing experience worth the listen. 

Rating: 9/10 



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