Burnt Books-Burnt Books
I wasn't quite awake this morning when I sat down to listen to this 9-track release from Columbia, South Carolina-based Burnt Books. Even with 2 cups of coffee flowing through my veins I was still wiping the sleep out of my eyes when I hit "play". All of that changed when album opener "Selfish Friend" kicked in and, literally, kicked me in the teeth. It's always good to see that real punk isn't dead (even if in this case it is like a science experiment gone horribly wrong!). Formed in mid-2011, and made up of musicians who played/still play in other local acts, this self-titled album is the band's "official" greeting (following a four-song demo that appeared early last year) and, as far as debut-albums go, it's a real punch in the gut. It's also a very interesting take on experimental punk. I might still be a little in zombie mode this morning, despite the wall of punk rock noise that came my way from this album, but there can't be that many punk bands out there that utilize the banjo right? That only made this release all the more unique. The banjo, as well as lead vocals, came courteous of Zoe Lollis and joining in on the fun are guitarists Matt Thompson and Chuck Sligh, bassist Joey Parker and drummer Troy Thames. Heaven help me because the only apt description for this release really is experimental punk While it does feature it's fair share of heavy riffs (of both the punk and hardcore variety) and a mean & nasty rhythm it's a bit too deconstructed to fit into any one particular genre. Thankfully vocalist Zoe Lollis and the rest of the gang keep things interesting along the way so you don't mind as much when they assault your eardrums and burn down your house. Had I been fully awake when I listened to this album I'm fairly certain the result would have been the same. Either way I look forward to seeing what else Burnt Books has up their sleeves in the future.