And Burn – ‘Setbacks’.
And Burn are a band I’ve been meaning to sit down with for quite some time. I once saw them play at one of the all-so common all-dayers that permeate the Melbourne live music scene, Melbourne being nearest locale to the band’s home. And Burn have been in the game since 2003, twisting and turning their Punk-rooted sound into something in and around the great expanse of Post-Hardcore.
The era the band have matured through and have taken from is clear. Smashing through the ill-fated Nu-Metal limelight and the years where much of the Post-Hardcore scene began to segue into Emo, And Burn take this and quite naturally combine it with the Aussie/Victorian melodic Skate Punk sound so prevalent and entrenched. Fun fact, vocalist Jess Cuman also lends his vocal chords to Melbourne Skate Punks, Postscript.
With ‘543’ the band aren’t quite taking the most techinal Post-Hardcore time changes but they are taking the classic stop-start stylistics alongside riffs and breakdowns you’d expect from Metallic Hardcore. This is all obviously before a break into fast Emo-tinged Punk-charged verses and a classic 2000’s, Finch-esque chorus fall into place. And Burn certainly have the layered and melodic sound down to a tee and with ‘543’ they clearly state who they are at this point in time.
‘For Better Or Worse’ takes this rhythmic Pop-Punk/Emo verse of a time before it simply became Pop music into another memorable chorus. Here, And Burn edge their majoritively soaring and melodic sound with enough jagged riff-work to add just enough variety.
‘Polar Opposites’ starts as the down-tempo ballad you’d expect before becoming the heavier charged track you didn’t release you needed before then finally settling somewhere between the two. ‘Shadow’ then pitches in with fast Melodic Hardcore with more of the signature 2000’s Post-Hardcore melodies on the lead soaring away. The track then falls back into the dark-Pop-Punk/Emo chorus the band pull off so well so often in one of the best on the record.
‘Shadows’ also shows promise in regard to the heavier aspects of the band and teases you mercilessly but ultimately it is just that. ‘NMP’ sounds like charged version of early Polar Bear Club only more melodic while the melodic Post-Hardcore of ‘Small Steps’ is very much the slower, cumbersome track you’ve been yearning for.
‘Small Steps’ also finally carries the differentiation in backing and screamed vocals that at least in my opinion, should have surfaced by now. And Burn also again tease their penchant for metallic riffs and Nu-Metal days gone by both in this way and vocally.
The penultimate number continues with the more weighed and abrasive Hardcore Punk-led approach and it’s glorious. The band can be both complimented via this ploy and indeed criticised as its always good to “go out with a bang” but it can be said that track listing could also have been more evenly distributed with these harder – and impressive – tracks elsewhere. Alexisonfire and Letlive come to mind here.
At this stage, I would like to say that I also fully hate Mondays, which is most fortuitous as the final track is entitled, ‘I Fully Hate Mondays’ and And Burn again go all out this time injecting combination of Alternative Rock, Punk and Metal into the mixing bowl.
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