When an album starts with a cockney meeting a Nazi hunter in London, you know you’re on to something special. The album’s opening track Grown Ups starts like this, only to be revealed to be a flight of imagination from two young friends, maybe childhood sweethearts, tracking the couple through childhood through adolescence, and ending on a wistful note at adulthood, and how people can sometimes just grow apart when they grow up.
Amateur Rappers is also a stand out track about joining a cult, includes “the interrupting cow” joke, and ruminates about how Mathias can’t handle the responsibility of owning a dog, but then thinks it would be useful to have one in the event of a nuclear holocaust. Also, the banter and back and forth between Mathias’ lead vocals and Ariel’s is pretty funny and endearing. The charmingly deadpan, leftfield lyrics reminded me a lot of old favourites like Eels or Weezer.
Mathias’s vocals have the low fi, downtrodden melancholy of Lambchop or Cake whilst Ariel does a great job of balancing this out by accompanying him with the melodies and harmonies, contrasting the melancholy with clarity whilst at the same time complimenting Mathias’s voice.
I thought that garage rock was dead, or at least that I’d fallen out of love with it or what it had become. The Burning Hell have helped rekindled that love with no shortage of wit, lyricism, and moxy to spare.
Monthly music columnist for the Kirkby Extra, sometimes article writer for Get Into This. Freelance writer/artist/maker.