Burning Love

Songs For Burning Lovers

BY Keith CarmanPublished Jul 25, 2010

In truth, the first spin of Burning Love's debut full-length didn't yield the anticipated reactions. Expecting something in the same raw, combative vein as their demo/EP, Songs For Burning Lovers, while still wonderfully rough, seemingly lacked its predecessors' overt rabidity and stampeding malevolence. Thankfully, repeated listens have crumbled first impressions. A heated blast of instinctually provocative punk rock'n'roll, with heavy doom and hardcore intonations, it boasts a new degree of intensity, superseding the desired moods previously mentioned. From "Destroyer Of Worlds" through to "Burning Love," beastly riffs, detuned thunder and a general sense of impending disaster are offset by killer staccato shots and grinding verses. Furthermore, vocalist Chris Colohan (Left for Dead, the Swarm, Cursed) fits surprisingly well into the punk rock'n'roll mix with his dichotomously guttural, throaty delivery, lending things a deeper attack generally reserved for bands with more obvious Discharge influences. However, as all of these forces align, one realizes that Songs For Burning Lovers is on its own path while still pulling aspects from incredible sources. The album's churning aggression, subversive catchiness and shit-hot riffs are reminiscent of Turbonegro's formative creepiness and dark melodies, mixed with Poison Idea's explosively disgruntled attitude, yet all of it batters with a bile solely Burning Love's.

How do you think fans of your previous bands are going to take something more punk rock'n'roll?
Colohan: They can take it or leave it. You need to challenge your listeners as much as yourself. We wanted to play something different than we already were and I needed to try out a different corner of my headspace after the way Cursed fell apart. There's a lot of straight-up classic rock love going on in Burning Love crossed with riff-heavy punk. "Punk'n'roll" sums it up pretty well. The heart of punk is really a jacked-up, antisocial perversion of first wave rock'n'roll's simple template. Consciously or not, that's what we're tapping into.

Other acts of this sub-genre, like Turbonegro, Zeke and Hellacopters, never received their due yet here you are cutting a similar swath with passion and aggression.
Those are awesome bands, so we don't mind the comparison. But, really, we're just making it, putting it out there and playing the shit out of our songs. The categorizing of it's more for other people than for us. Hardcore kids, indie kids, stoners, punks ― regardless of genres or scenes, anyone that feels a connection to it is absolutely welcome to it.

How did you guys initially decide to work together as Burning Love?
All the guys already played together in Our Father. Dave [O'Connor, bassist] and I wanted to start a band and as opposed to looking for people from scratch, it made sense to just add me and feel it out from there since the guys already played together.

There are some diverse backgrounds going on. Is your sound the culmination of varied influences or common ground?
Well, both. That was kind of the point: to come together with an obvious generation gap and different frames of reference, then find the common ground. But for sure, there are things we all like across the board that factor into it, like Kyuss, Turbonegro, Black Flag, Hot Snakes, the Wipers, etc.

Can you tell me a bit about the recording details behind Songs For Burning Lovers?
We did the record with Ian Blurton at Giant in Toronto. I'd worked with Ian on Cursed records and considering the riff-heavy, guitar porn side of Burning Love, we thought he'd know just what to do with Songs For Burning Lovers.

No doubt. I hear a very live, in-the-moment attack going on.
Absolutely. The beds were tracked live in one room. We had the amps set up the same way we do when we play live and as such, I think that the tones on the record are a pretty accurate reflection of what they sound like live.

When I hear the album, it seems as though the low-end was a primary goal for you to bring out.
I think that our guitar tones are already pretty low-end-heavy, so it just ended up naturally sounding that way. Easton [Lannaman] also uses a huge drum kit, so that definitely had an impact on the overall sound. We didn't really go into recording with a solid idea of how it would turn out, sonically. We just tried to make a good representation of our live sound.

There's a severe degree of tongue-in-cheek lyricism involved.
I was trying to make the songs a lot more topical and a bit less cynical this time around, hoping to trade in paranoid insomniac rants for something more catchy and less dark, but that's always going to be a part of my writing, to some extent.

What are some of the topics you're hollering about?
Let's see, we've got debt collection, virtual social life, bullshit sex symbols, intentionally miserable nightlife scenes, going deaf, remake culture, friends lost to drugs, unsavoury inherited traits, dogmatic superstition and Robert Oppenheimer.

That's... different, You're currently touring this album and faced a huge setback recently when your gear was stolen?
Yes. I really want to say thank you to our tour brothers in Coliseum. We're in the middle of slugging out a pretty tough 50-show tour and got robbed in Philadelphia, losing about $7,000 worth of irreplaceable gear. We nearly had to go home because of it, but Coliseum stepped up, lent us gear and hooked us up with First Act Guitars so we could keep going. Playing music like this is a labour of love and it's harder than ever if you're not a big band to make it feasible, as a lot of dudes in a lot of vans on a lot of roads can tell you. So I just want to say thanks to the people that remind me this is still some semblance of a community that looks out for its own, especially everyone who does shows, feeds or puts up bands and helps them out. If you love this music, support it in real life. It's barely holding on so don't take it for granted that it'll always be there because without a community, it won't.

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