Can you believe that it’s 2017 and here we are, reviewing a new CD by BURN? Or that I just typed “CD” instead of album?
I’m (sort of, but not really) ashamed to admit that my first introduction to BURN vocalist Chaka Malik was through Orange 9MM (Remember when Chris Traynor didn’t look like Jesus and wasn’t a part of the cult of Gavin?). And even after soaking up all that post-hardcore goodness, I still refused to soak in the glory of early BURN.
Which brings us to today and myself, a relative BURN virgin, relishing in the awesome that is their latest album Do or Die despite never really being a fan the first time around. Is that really a bad thing, though?
But I digress!
Twenty seven years since their first recorded release and fans now have the first proper full-length from BURN, fittingly put out through Deathwish Inc on September 8th. BURN is back and fueled by the same vitriol and venom that made early albums like their self-titled EP and Cleanse or last year’s From The Ashes stand out above the rest.
“Fate” borders on mathematical brilliance and hardcore excellence combining those classic elements with these technical aspects akin to a Blood Has Been Shed track while “Ill Together” is a little more straight to the point/in your face for old school fans withAbbas Muhammad providing a thorough percussive pummeling.
“Flame” treads this frenetic energy and forceful riff shredding from Gavin Van Vlack sandwiched between these glorious choruses and even more glistening guitar work as Malik subtly references their 2002 EP Last Great Sea within. “Beauty” just batters and barrels forward with these amazing Chaka vocal lines and a bass hum like no other until “Dead Identity” just slams listeners over the head with riffs and drums….actually, the majority of Do or Die will do that. And like most BURN songs, Malik’s soulful delivery paired with gang vox and some sweeping choruses definitely set their music apart.
And seriously, they have a song called “Unfuck Yourself”. C’mon! The song could be shit but the name will forever rule. Luckily for listeners, the track is on par with the rest of the excellence brought forth on Do or Die and elevates the BURN legacy to new heights with its’ focus on strong songwriting and perfectly structured songs (Tyler Krupsky’s bass work alone on this song deserves a medal).
“Climb Out” closes out the album with a driving anthem that surges with the kind of stuff that proves that BURN is still as potent and relevant as when the band started almost three decades ago now. Maybe more.
Do or Die is out via Deathwish Inc (Of course!) on September 8th. Get your very own copy in a variety of formats by clicking here.