"Burn Guitars" (self-produced; 2001)

Reviewed by Christopher J. Kelter

I've always been intrigued by things that are out of the ordinary, or at the very least, things that spit in the face of the norms of what is acceptable. Burn guitars is a three bass, one drum New York City-based outfit dedicated to loudness, thump, and anti-guitar sentiments.

The three bassists/no guitarists concept is certainly out of the ordinary (save for Spinal Tap's "Big Bottom") and probably unacceptable to most metalheads. I must admit the thought of an anti-guitar record violates my sense of what actually constitutes hard rock (let alone metal), but the last laugh is on me. Burn Guitars features members that have toured, recorded, or performed with Mephiskapheles, Buzzcocks, Misfits, and GWAR so you know there's some legitimacy to what Burn Guitars are trying to achieve.

This 4-song demo shows the band using low end to explore the rhythmic and earthly tones of the bass guitar. This demo reminds me of a Glenn Branca experiment - I'll bet Branca wished he'd thought of this concept years ago! "Shoat" is a slow/fast number that shows the band exploring the funky thump of the bass guitar with some punk-ish sensibility.  "(#3)" turns the notion of the bass guitar as a supporting instrument on its head - with "(#3)" the bass guitar is turned into an arty tour-de-force of low-end. "Old Ways New" is full-on, straight-forward rhythmic steadiness with an ominous feel. "Sleeve" gets the funk-out one more time with an impressive vocal to boot. 

Burn Guitars is Papabois the Nubian Nightmare on bass and vocals, Dr. Bitz on bass, Scott Redeeming on bass, and G-spot on drums. 

Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.


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Copyright 2001 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.