Birdgangs’ Maximum Suction, which draws inspiration from the likes of Arctic Monkeys, The Strokes, and Real Estate, replicates the feel of the nostalgia of wandering around an old neighborhoodThere’s a sense of familiarity that comes with the opening riff of “Taxi Driver,” in the sense of urgency in the percussion of “Roxy,” and the distorted vocal harmonies of “Lorraine.” There’s a grittiness and echo that recalls Is This It and hints of the rowdy propulsion of Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not.

The parallels in their sound and their influences are certainly deliberate: “We’re definitely going for that same garage feel, making the listener feel as close to the instruments and vocals as possible,” said lead singer Jack Davis. “Our big influences while recording were the early recordings of some of our favorite garage bands (The Strokes, Real Estate, Arctic Monkeys, Beach Fossils, FIDLAR),” Davis explains. “We just really wanted to have a raw quality to the EP—not too much production getting in the way of the instruments.”

Part of the reason for the garage rawness heard on Maximum Suction comes from the fact that it was recorded in DIY spaces throughout the Greater Boston area. “We did the drums at our buddies’ house out in Chestnut Hill, we did the guitars at our place in Allston, and we did the vocals at Joe’s place out in Eastie.” There’s something to be said for recording music in familiar spaces in lieu of a polished studio.

Birdgangs have spent the last year gigging around Boston, playing local venues like O’Brien’s, Great Scott, and the Middle East. Though the band started in January of 2017, its members have been part of the Boston music community for a while. Some of Birdgangs’ songs come from a band Davis played with in college, but as often is the case, his fellow bandmates were moving away from Boston or too busy for the band. So, Davis started a new group with two friends from high school.

Today, the lineup includes guitarist Matt Bates, drummer Fernando Echeverry, and bassist Julien Schremmer. Most of the band speaks Spanish, though you wouldn’t be able to tell on “Taxi Driver.” Davis sings the line “But no one hablas español as good as you and me” with an incorrect verb conjugation and an accent that would make most native speakers cringe. Turns out, that was very much intentional: “Julien and Fernando are both fluent in Spanish and Matt is conversant. I speak a little bit but not well, so the line is kind of a gag because I speak it worse than every other member of the band.”

The song isn’t the only one that shows the band’s sense of humor—that attitude is reflected in the intro track, “Hello,” a snippet of a voicemail Schremmer once left on a friend’s phone. “It was really funny because he says hello like five or six times before he realized Charlie hadn’t picked up and it became kind of a running joke, just like yelling “hello” all the time,” Jack said. “We figured it would be a little fun thing to include right at the top of the EP.” The name of the band itself follows a similar logic: “The band name couldn’t be more random,” says Davis. “It’s one word for tax reasons.”

Below you listen to the premiere of Maximum Suction. Catch Birdgangs perform the EP live at their release show on March 23rd at O’Briens

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