The Birds Fly Low is relaxed and hypnotic; a mellow, easy listening album from Belgian alt. rock band Creature with the Atom Brain.
It contains a medley of distorted guitars and clean-cut basslines, which add a distinctive power to Aldo Struyf’s extraordinary vocal prowess. Creature use a wide range of instruments on top of their basic song formula, introducing synthesised keyboards and often a brass addition. Most of the songs blend well to create pleasant listening.
‘R-Frequency’ stood out the most for me because of its strange, Mike Oldfield-esque Dutch scat. There’s a weird yet wonderful combination of reggae guitar patterns with futuristic, video game-inspired electronic sounds, all topped off with an Egyptian-sounding drum beat. Such an odd song, yet it lives up to Creature’s reputation.
Creature with the Atom Brain was originally the name of a 1955 B movie zombie film, as well as a Roky Erickson song, before ex-Millionaire keys player Struyf took it for his band name.
In an interview with The Dreaded Press in 2008, Struyf labelled Creature as “freaky, funky, rock music,” not much of a jump from his indie rock background. The same website described Creature’s first album, I Am the Golden Gate Bridge, as “fuzzy stripped-back rock’n’roll noise with a generous helping of weird.”
Many of these songs cry out to be learnt by budding musicians because of their simple riffs and melodies, which are well put together and sound brilliant with the right added effects. Creature’s music is the sort of thing a university garage band could easily start with.
All of Creature’s music is enjoyable to an extent, the sort of thing you might leave on when flicking through a Shuffle playlist, but it’s unlikely that anyone would sit through an entire album in one sitting without getting bored.