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As Birthing Hips give life to their new record Urge To Merge this month, the album’s arrival also coincides with the band’s finale.
Celebrating an album release and a band’s final show in the same night, as what went down last night at Great Scott in Allston, comes as a fairly unexpected juxtaposition, but that’s the just way the Boston staple rolls: Demanding attention with fuzzy garage music and making very little sense all the while.
The group’s sophomore album Urge to Merge, which drops November 17 via NNA Tapes, will be Birthing Hips’ last effort together after years of weaving the most authentic basement noise-pop Boston can provide. “Each of us has decided to put more focus on our solo for side projects,” says guitarist Wendy Eisenberg. “Birthing Hips was and remains a very special moment for all of us, but musically we are each looking to find even wilder and more personal shores.”
Post-Birthing Hips, the band will pursue music in the projects Birthday Ass, LIZA, Pleaser, and Eisenberg’s self-titled endeavor.
Urge to Merge marks the end of the group’s steady lightening-in-a-bottle career together, but it’s a bountiful parting gift, packed with frenetic zingers (“Shut Up and Leave Me Alone)” and rabid nonsense (“HEP”). The followup to 2016’s brilliantly abnormal No Sorry, Urge to Merge continues the group’s erratic legacy, spiraling further and further down their alternative rabbit hole.
Lead single “Droplet” sums the eleven tracks up in a blurry, psychedelic three and a half minutes of fluctuating tempos, while “Strip Tease” practically descends into thrash metal. If an album could physically foam at the mouth, Urge to Merge would be dripping with it. “We recorded Urge to Merge in two days at Gravesend Recordings at the Silent Barn in Brooklyn at the last rattle of a bisected tour we took in January of 2017,” Eisenberg explains. “All the songs were performed live with very minimal overdubs.”
Vocalist Carrie Furniss elaborates: “Recording with Carlos Hernandez and Julian Fader was a dream come true. I had been obsessed with Ava Luna for awhile and their studio came at a high recommendation from friends. They were so fun and easy to work with.”
The album came together onstage last night for the first and last time, signaling the end of an era, but a really audacious and experimental one at that. “Birthing Hips was my first band and I will always hold it near and dear to my heart,” says Furniss. Eisenberg agrees: “Every minute of our time performing as a band has been so special, and we want to give old and new listeners a high point to remember us by.”
Featured photo by Tim Oxton, courtesy of Birthing Hips.