After listening to Beaches, I knew I needed to go back and listen to older Genius releases. Birth Choice Death is from 2010, has 11 songs, and runs 27:25. Already I thought that this would be a straight-to-the-point punk rock release. The first song, “Fake,” has elements of being recorded very haphazardly with an instrumental introduction track that also includes what sounds like background noise. While I’m not sure if this was recorded at the same time or added, it does add an excellent organic feel to the start of the album.
Birth Death Choice really gets started with “Period 2.” Kim Il Du‘s hoarse and rough voice calls out over the up tempo track. It doesn’t ever let up during the 1:24 length of the song until the very end, encapsulating what Genius is all about. The joy of listening to Genius is that the music is simple, and essentially pure. There’s little flourishes other than the guitar, bass, and drums along with the vocals when they’re present. The music speaks the message and there’s little else to notice.
The direct punk and psychobilly that is presented on the album is excellent. Songs have range and variety, even within the two main genres that the band uses. It has a raw edge and sounds like recording was done as fast as possible to capture the energy of the band without worrying about polish. Even with this sound, the music comes through with no problems. Listen to “Puppy Is Not My Friend” and you’ll get a good sample.
Genius seem to play whatever they want and that’s perfect. While Birth Choice Death is an older album, it contains all the right elements. While the bassist at the time, Seo Chang Wan, left to attend his mandatory military service, he did leave a legacy within the band that is covered with current bassist, Steve C. The importance of Genius is that is shows music isn’t about presentation, but the energy that can come through.