Tuesday, April 30, 2013

REVIEW: Burnt Ones - You'll Never Walk Alone

You'll Never Walk Alone, the sophomore LP from San Francisco's Burnt Ones doesn't bother to choose whether it is garage, glam or psychedelic album.  It is all three, in varying degrees depending on the track.  It also is an album that is thematically introspective and dark, but generally vibrant musically.  It starts out with the stately 80 seconds of "Glitter Death", but then kicks into gear with "Web" psychedelic song featuring a bouncy bass line.  The garage/glam strain gets even stronger with "Freak In The Fog", then turns a bit more psychedelic again with "Hologram Dropouts" and "Vision Forever".  But the glam that always is bubbling at least near the surface takes center stage in standout track "Fountain of Youth" --

"Clock" is a glorious, triumphant slice of glittery psych-pop.  Then "I Care - I Don't Care" takes the glittery psych-pop and layers on a bit of bubblegum.  "Getting Brighter Blues" and "Country Mouth Honey" have quieter moments, but never leave behind the confident drums and bass, chunky guitar riffs or soaring harmonies.  The album closes with the "Move On", an excellent tune performed at a slow tempo but which always seems ready to bust loose.

It seems to me that in infusing life into the San Francisco garage scene Burnt Ones have added some spice from the T. Rex and Mott the Hoople section of the cupboard.  And from the vantage point of my listening chair, the choice of seasoning seems inspired.  I'm a garage rock fan, but I must admit that often a garage rock album is as good as it is going to get in the first listen.  The varied textures and quality songwriting of You'll Never Walk Alone result in a garage rock album that allows for increased appreciation with repeated listens.

Burnt Ones are Mark Tester, Amy Crouch and Brian Allen.  You'll Never Walk Alone is out today on Burger Records.

Burger Records

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