A horrible hack

Burnt Books

Where There's Smoke There's Fire

Year Released: 2015
Format: Download
Label: Retro Futurist
Reviewed by Alex Deller on Apr 4, 2015
The second album from Burnt Books is some pretty intense stuff, coming off like a thorny mix of Choke Their Rivers With Our Dead and Made Out Of Babies. The riffing is taut and jagged whilst unafraid of veering off on the occasional dramatic tangent, but it's Zoe Lollis' vocals that really make it all hit home. Much of the time they take the form of a coruscating and genuinely desperate-sounding gargle, but even more unsettling are the cleaner and ostensibly nicer moments. These chart a strange course between fragility and great strength, variously cooing and crooning in tones that appear both sorrowful and mocking. As an album there's something about it that needs to be more comprehensively drawn together, but the visceral, hacked-apart emotion of it all manages to power things through and ensure it leaves a lingering impression that's all too hard to scrub away.

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