http://assets-s3.rollingstone.com/assets/images/album_review/the-birds-of-satan-1400191423.jpg The Birds of Satan

The Birds of Satan

The Birds of Satan

Rolling Stone: star rating
Community: star rating
5 3.5 0
May 15, 2014

The debut album by Birds of Satan, a side project of Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins, sounds like every LP from Hawkins' teenage record collection playing at the same time. He and his bandmates – who also play with him in another side project, Chevy Metal – dabble in Queen-style operatic choruses, Cheap Trick power-pop melodies and a whole lotta Led Zep boogie. Hawkins even channels the jazz-fusion drum break from Run-DMC's "Peter Piper" in "Thanks for the Line." That sort of eclecticism is both the best and worst thing about Birds of Satan: While its seven songs all go down easy, they can also feel like sensory overload. Lead track "The Ballad of the Birds of Satan" stretches over nine minutes (and features guest appearances by fellow Foos Dave Grohl and Pat Smear), with more twists and turns than a David Lynch movie. Then there's "Too Far Gone to See," which begins with a "Dream On"-style harpsichord intro and ends with an unexpected synth dirge. Birds of Satan is a memorable and often exhilarating listen – but with so much going on in the space of half an hour, you can almost hear Hawkins' life flash before your ears.

Album Review Main Next


Community Guidelines »
loading comments

loading comments...


Sort by:
    Read More
    Around the Web
    Powered By ZergNet
    Daily Newsletter

    Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

    Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
    marketing partners.


    We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

    Song Stories

    “San Francisco Mabel Joy”

    Mickey Newbury | 1969

    A country-folk song of epic proportions, "San Francisco Mabel Joy" tells the tale of a poor Georgia farmboy who wound up in prison after a move to the Bay Area found love turning into tragedy. First released by Mickey Newbury in 1969, it might be more familiar through covers by Waylon Jennings, Joan Baez and Kenny Rogers. "It was a five-minute song written in a two-minute world," Newbury said. "I was told it would never be cut by any artist ... I was told you could not use the term 'redneck' in a song and get it recorded."

    More Song Stories entries »