This month sees the release of the Devotion EP from UK rock band This Burning Age, the second of a quartet of EPs to be released over the year every three months which will culminate in a full 12 track album with extras. Following the Supplication EP which came out in April, the new encounter continues the impressive incitement bred by its predecessor. Bringing things up to date in this already impressive series of releases we look at both EPs as the Birmingham quartet continues to craft a potent presence with their alternative electro rock endeavour.
This Burning Age was initially a solo project created by vocalist/songwriter/guitarist Friday around five years ago. Debut album A Muzzle for the Masses subsequently appeared before the musician in wanting to take the project into the live arena expanded its line-up with the addition of guitarist Jon Farrington-Smith, bassist Dave Bennett, and drummer Christian Jerromes. Still driven in all aspects from songwriting to artwork by Friday, the band infuses a wide expanse of styles and flavours into its electronic/industrial bred canvas which makes certainly each track on the EPs an imaginative and attention gripping proposition. Each release is an exploration of sound and enterprise musically and lyrically where the themes of broken and twisted love are investigated and embraced.
The Supplication EP opens with Disappeared, a song lyrically inspired by the Dylan Thomas poem Do not go gentle into that good night. An initial flirtation of electronic enticing is soon reinforced by a teasing guitar and darker bass coaxing, the web immediately awakening the imagination and keen anticipation for what the song is to offer. It is not long it is gripping ears with fiery grooves and atmospheric intrigue whilst its electronic bait continues to embrace and tempt the senses. There is an instant Nine Inch Nails air to the track and as its potent chorus expels its fiery breath, of Gravity Kills. Equally there is a heavier rock and metal infusion to the invasive and compelling intensity which fuels the strenuous atmosphere, even in the track’s more restrained moments. It is a powerful and potently captivating start soon back by Your Will Is MY Kill, whose entrance with its industrial stalking also fires up an eager appetite within seconds. A track about “sado-masochistic and destructive love from the perspective of a disturbed dominant male character”, it strengthens its first wave of coaxing with a post punk-esque predation and antagonistic urgency which rages and seduces in equal measure as the song reveals its heart and inventive rabidity. Though not a brutal encounter, there is a bruising weight and exhaustive fury to the track in presence and invention which steals the breath and lights the imagination even more voraciously than the previous track.
The Tom Gittins produced release is completed by Want, a song slowly caressing ears from its start with piano and vocals, both offering a Bowie like whisper. The track is all the time brewing up a vivacious climate though which brings courteous synth rock suasion to its evocative narrative. That gentle tempting eventually expels a fiery and raucous sigh for a climatic finale to the song and though it is the least gripping of the trio of songs it leaves the EP engaging senses and thoughts with a lingering strength.
The tracks on second EP Devotion continue from the first in premise with “eulogies to hope and redemption, from despair and disconnection, to mutually destructive passion. “ It makes its first move with the explosive There Is No Hope Except For That Which You Give Me. From a vocal enticement the track ebbs and flows in its intensity but sears ears and imagination with a blaze of ingenious temptation and feverish passion. Vocally it is the best track of the two releases yet, a resonance to their expression working intently with the sonic endeavour and melodic seducing within the volatile rhythmic and energetic rapacity of the track. There is a Pitchshifter like edge to the track too which prowls riffs and syllables throughout the riveting tempest.
The following Hollow suggests a mellower experience with its first wash of melancholic piano and though the song builds a crescendo of energy and melodic drama it does not veer away from that reserved elegance for the main of its evocative narrative. Though the song is another to miss the benchmark of for example its successor, it offers intrigue and a spatial elegance which is undoubtedly captivating, drawing thoughts and emotions to immerse in its emotive prowess with an unerringly successful creativity and adventure.
The EP is concluded by Nothing, the best track of the sextet released in the series so far. Its incendiary bait of riffs and hooks from virtually its first move is insatiably contagious, guitars and bass showing they are in no mood to let ears and imagination slip from their grip at any point in the track as beats frame and cage their exploit just as infectiously. Society 1 comes to mind whilst as Friday vocally prowls ears a returning essence of Bowie comes to his expression. The track itself is a feisty almost hostile taunting which enslaves and provokes body through to thoughts relentlessly for the most thrilling engagement across the two encounters.
Though not every track lights a fire in the belly as the opener for Supplication and the brilliant closer of Devotion, both EPs leave the craft and invention, not forgetting enthralling sound of This Burning Age a gripping proposition to devour greedily. Roll on EP three…
The Supplication and Devotion EPs are available now on CD via 5th Day Records @ http://thisburningage.bigcartel.com/ and digitally at most online stores.
Supplication EP 8.5
Devotion EP 9
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