On the group's second full-length, Detroit area's Thunderbirds are Now! is guitarist/vocalist Ryan Allen, keyboardist/sample-triggerist/vocalist Scott Allen, drummer Matt Rickle and bassist Julian Wettlin. And the Thunderbirds are ... now surprisingly more paced. Toned down are the spazztastic banshee blurts as the band has replaced some strident angularities for vaguely politico agendas. Taking a cue from producer John Schmersal, the Thunderbirds have balanced knotty guitar jerks with bright keyboard quirks (which compellingly carry forward highlights such as "We Win (Ha Ha)," and "Sleeping in the Lion's Mouth"). The absurd vamps and cheeky melodies -- which previously referenced Sparks, the Rentals, Les Savy Fav and International Noise Conspiracy -- jab at a less frenetic clip. Chords ring more than notes needle. This defused derangement means Make History's 11 tracks ape familiar energy but impact less immediately. 3 stars
Thunderbirds Are Now! performs Sat., Feb. 10, at the Drunken Unicorn.
Pelican vs Peilcan.
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