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© Benoit Tessier/Reuters/Corbis
Whether scratchy or clean, jangly or rippling with distortion, the trick bag of Followill guitar tones appears bottomless. Birthday starts with an sugary, chimey pattern that is enhanced by what sounds like distant miking - one can really hear the room’s acoustics.
The verse has a understated soulful feel, with Caleb singing curious rhymes like “Your come-on legs and your pantyhose/ you look so precious with your bloody nose.” How’s that for an image? Still, he sounds almost chipper - guess he likes birthdays.
The band pumps up the intensity for the choruses, particularly the end in which Matthew sparks up a rapid-fire top-string revelry that brings the song to a stunning conclusion.