Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Posted by xCHIPxSEM | File under : , , ,
Along with Inside Out, Burn was one of the first great hardcore bands of the 90s. Displaying a variety of styles, Burn only released one record during their short existence (this would change but lets stick with the first time they were together) but left a lasting impression on thousands of hardcore kids. For those of us not living in NYC or the surrounding areas, the band seemed shrouded in a bit of mystery. No photos in the insert, very minimal information on the band...I don't believe this was intentional but when this sort of thing happens, I feel like the band is letting the music speak for itself and allowing the listener to form their own image. The cover looks like someone watched a video of a live show, paused the VCR and took a picture of it. Nice and bright, it looks like complete mayhem.
I remember reading an interview with guitarist Gavin Van Vlack and he said how he was criticized because his new band (Burn) had an African-American singer just like his previous band, Absolution. He seemed angry about the criticism but I like the fact that he went a different route instead of asking someone who had previously been in a well-known band. Chaka Malik is the quintessential frontman.
The record begins with "...Shall Be Judged", a fast track that speaks on the idea of vegetarianism. Chaka ends the track with the now famous "We have killed and shall be judged" while the music slows down and goes in a more post-hardcore direction. My favorite track is "Godhead" featuring a slow jazz midsection which is then swallowed up by a midpaced singalong. Chaka screams "Hear Me, Im calling out. I stand by the edge". The song deals with religion as a cult (at least that what I get out of it). "Out Of Time" has been covered by so many bands that I've lost count but Death Threat definitely has done the best version.
My only real gripe with the record is I wish the guitars were louder. Everything sounds great but it just feels like the guitars could be louder. I know, I'm nitpicking but I'm just being honest. I really wish Rev would release an official discography with a remix/remaster job. The band has a bunch of unreleased songs from practices and rehearsals that I love to see get an official release. My friend Vin who runs Blogged and Quartered took the time to clean up, correctly name and number, and post the Live At CBGBs bootleg CD that came out some years ago. He also included some rehearsal tracks as well. You can check that out by clicking here. Are you reading this Revelation? Give the people what they want.
All in all, the self titled Burn record is one of the best. The band got back together in the early 2000's and recorded a new EP, "Cleanse", and the release of "Last Great Sea" (a demo that was recorded for Roadrunner if I remember correctly). They played some shows with Vic from 108 on guitar but then called it quits. I'd love to see them get together one more time...I'd fly. Bottom line, if you don't own this, get it.


xbojanx said...

One of the best...EVER!!!
You got to metal Chip, guitars are just fine ;P

Matthias said...

Great record. I saw Chaka live with Orange9mm in the mid 90s wich sounded more than the later Burn-releases.

Dave said...

Great band - they played Boston in the early '90s at the Paradise. The crowd was crazy stoked (maybe because as you stated, not a lot was known about the band, but that the 7" rocked). Unfortunately the PA gave out into the first song and Chaka had no vocals the entire set. I think they even cut the set short. Bummer.

Mike said...

Possibly my favorite EP ever. I was able to catch them in Philly about 8 years ago and they were incredible; just a huge bundle of energy. Chaka was born to be a frontman.

Anonymous said...

Love the write up you did on Burn! Burn brings me way back when I first started listening to hardcore. This band has left a lasting impression on me. Certainly one of the best hardcore bands of their time.....each track being so powerful. Up there with Downcast and Turning Point imo