Radio Birdman Zeno Beach

Criminally underappreciated during their first incarnation during the mid-’70s, Radio Birdman subsequently had a deep and lasting influence following the group’s initial demise. The release of Zeno Beach marks the group’s first disc of new material in 25 years, but the album offers only a faint shadow of the charged punk rock that established the group’s reputation and led to their reunion in the late 1990s. Certain songs, such as "We’ve Come So Far (To Be Here Today),” show some of the band’s trademark vigour, but many of the tracks lack significant musical force. Rob Younger’s singing remains solid, but it doesn’t show near the gusto it once conveyed. Guitarist Deniz Tek’s playing, meanwhile, is in good form but commonly lacks the energy that made early songs, such as "Murder City Nights,” exceptionally memorable tunes. On Zeno Beach, Radio Birdman offer mid-tempo rock music that frequently lacks the spark needed to ignite compelling fireworks. (Yep Roc)