Burn Guitars

Burn Guitars

Independent release, 2001

REVIEW BY: Christopher Thelen

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 01/10/2001

Anyone who has seen This Is Spinal Tap at least once will undoubtedly remember the live performance of "Big Bottom". What made this song unique wasn't the use of guitars - especially since none were used. Instead, the song featured three bass guitars along with keyboards and drummer-of-the-moment, an effect which had surprisingly amazing results musically.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

With that concept in mind, enter New York-based Burn Guitars and their self-titled four-song demo. Does the effect of three bass players and a drummer have the same effect? Sadly, the answer is no... but it's not from the band's lack of trying.

Bassist/vocalist Papabois, bassist Dr. Bitz, bassist Scott Redeeming and drummer G-spot make up this experimental group, who freely admit they're pushing sonic limits while having some fun musically. And you can hear in these songs that there is a spirit of irreverence that permeates this project, not unlike the work of Primus, 24-7 Spyz or Limbomaniacs. Tracks like "Old Ways New" and "Sleeve" show that there is merit to the three-bass attack, and that if anyone is going to succeed with this format, it's going to be Burn Guitars.

Unfortunately, their gimmick also shows its limitations - namely, the failure to develop a solid melody, especially on "Shoat". At times, it almost sounds like all three bassists are playing the same line - and while it does make the notes ring out, it also stifles the tune. I'd have preferred to hear each bass trying something different with the melody to develop the songs - hey, a fictional band was able to do that.

Does this mean that Burn Guitars failed in their project? Absolutely not - but first attempts in any experiment rarely yield the optimal result. Burn Guitars shows that there's merit in continuing the experiments... but until then, back to the lab, Dr. Frankenstein.

Rating: C+

User Rating: Not Yet Rated


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© 2001 Christopher Thelen and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Independent release, and is used for informational purposes only.