Reznor’s Synthpop Secret

Quick business/self-promotion to take care of. New reviews (by me) time:

Monkey – Gorillaz do Chinese opera! Better writers than me have told me this is the best review I’ve ever written. I don’t know how that’s possible, since I don’t threaten to assault a record executive or compare emo to the holocaust, but whatever.

Hybrid: Soundsystem 01 – Great trance mix. Reviewing trance is a bitch though, since it’s nearly impossible to describe what makes “good trance” good and “bad trance” bad.

Moving on, I found something so amazing today that I had to bare with the USB recording software and Audacity’s shit editing to record it and share it with all you fine people. This will be the last post for the week, so enjoy.

Exotic Birds – L’oiseau (1986 EP)
Exotic Birds were a Cleveland-based synthpop band that are of little note, except for the fact that one of their keyboardists was Trent Reznor. Don’t download this expecting some early, pre-Pretty Hate Machine, NIN-sounding shit though. This is VERY synthpoppy, and Reznor had nothing to do with any of it. He has no songwriting credit and although he’s credited as a backup singer his recognizable howling voice is nowhere to be found. Much like how NIN is Trent Reznor, Exotic Birds were Andrew Kubiszewski, the lead singer/guitarist/percussionist/programmer/xylophone player. They’re not a bad band, but they are very much a product of their time. If you like The Thompson Twins or Flock Of Seagulls you’ll probably dig on this. L’oiseau was the group’s second release, but the only one that Trent Reznor is on. I’m sure the fact that they continued on without him is what sent him into a rage-filled depression that we all hear so clearly on classic NIN tracks like “Burn” and “Head Like A Hole.”

12 Responses to “Reznor’s Synthpop Secret”

  1. Dave The Ox says:

    In regards to Exotic Birds, there is an album out there where Reznor sang lead on one track of theirs. It’s kinda funny since, while it’s recognizably him, as you said before it’s totally synth-poppy. I can’t remember the name of the song in question but it was VERY gloomy.

    Have you ever checked out Lucky Pierre? It was Kevin McMahon, bka Prick, long before Reznor signed him. Reznor played with them in the late 80’s and he plays sax on their Communique ep. It’s a totally cheesy 80’s sax solo to boot! If you wanna check it out let me know and I’ll post it up for you.

  2. Todd says:

    Is this the band that is in “Light of Day,’ The Joan Jett/ Micheal J Fox Film? I noticed Trent’s name in the credits on day. (Which means I just confessed to watching that film lately.)

  3. Catherine says:

    They recorded a song – “imagination”, title track off an album that came out after pretty hate machine, but it had pretty mucht he same rhythm as “Down In It” and a half-bemused, half-aggravated spoken bit at the end too much like what Trent would do. It was its own song, though. I love the chorus.

    Three of the Exotic Birds played SOME fictional band in SOME film, according to Wikipedia.

  4. Catherine says:

    “Imagination – has got the best of me”

  5. Catherine says:

    The second time your blog made me scream, after Berlin’s “Information” album.

  6. Dave The Ox says:

    I can’t remember the name of the band that Reznor was in from Light Of Day but it wasn’t Exotic Birds, though I think Kubiszewski was in it too. They’re the band performing a cover of Buddy Holly’s True Love Waits.

    Speaking again of Kubiszewski, he was also in Stabbing Westward, an also ran of NIN that definitely tried to rip off their sound to some extent but do it a little poppier, ala PHM.

  7. Rego says:

    Hi, I’ve been looking for this EP everywhere! This is the closest I’ve come to it, but your link above no longer works. 🙁 Any chance you could update it?

  8. Lost Turntable says:

    Check yo’ email.

  9. Rego says:

    Wow that was fast! Thank you!

  10. Jared says:

    Could I also get a link to L’oiseau as well? Been wanting to listen to it for ever but I can never seem to find it on the web.

  11. Cold_Stone_Crazy says:

    Yes, I would like a link to the L’oiseau record as well please.

  12. Mike says:

    I recently purchased the vinyl but currently have no way of digitizing it. Would really appreciate a digital copy so I don’t have to locate all the equipment to transfer this.


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