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LITERATURE

 » Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]

MUSIC

 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
[12.24.2010 by The LAS Staff]

MUSIC

 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
[11.04.2010 by Cory Tendering]

Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
»Deerhunter
Halcyon Digest
4AD
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
»Robyn
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Konichiwa
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Lisbon
Fat Possum
Burning Brides
Leave No Ashes
V2 Records

Rating: 9/10 ?


October 1, 2004
Getting over your first serious rock band infatuation isn't always an easy thing to do. When I meet up with old friends from school I invariably glance into the back seat of their cars and find copies of albums by the Black Crowes and Living Colour. Not to say those bands aren't respectable [ahem, cough], but c'mon now, it's 2004! Fortunately for me, my first rock crush has stayed frozen in style from the time that Nevermind blew open the crusty peel of rock and roll until now, and I haven't had to give up on it or push it under a pile of papers in the back seat. Nirvana has pretty much always been my one true love, but all of that could be changing.

Having cut my teeth on the sludge and screams of the grunge rock era, I'm a prime target for Burning Brides' sophomore effort, Leave No Ashes. With this high-revving and bored-out twelve track romp, the Philadelphia trio (guitarist Dimitri Coats and bassist Melanie Campbell are now anchored by Jason Kourkounis' drumming) have definitely avoided the sophomore slump. From the album's cock opening in "Heart Full of Black" the Brides make it clear that they're cracking open the mold of post-AC/DC biker rock, smashing the cast into irreparable shards. There is a fine line between Cinderella and Guns and Roses, and Burning Brides traverse it with uncanny precision.

One of the most gripping elements of Leave No Ashes is that it balances an undeniable brute force with an overtly intelligent commercial sensibility. These guys and gal probably have a few black Soundgarden tee shirts from the Badmotorfinger tour in their closets, but they've also got the local hair metal, college and classic rock stations programmed into the memory of their car stereos. The forceful rhythm section acts as a perfect counterpart to Coats' rough yet melodic vocals in tracks like "Come Alive" and the sludgy tuning compliments the hauntingly Cobain-esque howls of "I want you gone" in the track "King of the Demimonde".

The album's title track is vintage Burning Brides - which is to say that it appeals equally to fans of Queens of the Stone Age and Marilyn Manson (both of whom the Brides have supported on tour) without shunning the beer-chugging punk purists worshiping at the altar of Mudhoney. Throw in the epic soft-metal of the album's closing track, "Vampire Waltz" (which gives a couple of nods to Metallica's mega hit "Unforgiven" and the aesthetic of Tom Waits while incorporating some nice organ sounds from Campbell's keyboard) and you've got a package deal.

Basically this record is what my neighbor calls a "musical Jenny McCarthy" - it's cheap and nasty and it's been in all sorts of greasy leather outfits, but you still want to touch it. If you've turned on the radio in the past 25 years and liked what you heard, or if you've ever owned a jean jacket, this disc is for you.

Reviewed by Mikel Jurgen


See other reviews by Mikel Jurgen

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