Burning Brides – Leave No Ashes (CD)

Opening up “Leave No Ashes” with “Heart Full of Black”, Burning Brides’ 70s-rock influences are shown very loudly, most noticeably their love for The Eagles, Rush, and Sammy Hagar. The track is practically just an update of the music that can still be heard on classic rock stations all throughout the United States, albeit with a better recording. The strung-out nature of “Come Alive” is infuriating, mixing together the Kurt Cobain-led school of grunge with the bloated arena rock that Nirvana intended to completely replace. The slightly nasal nature of Dimitri adds an air of superiority to the track that is off-putting, as if just by doing the track Burning Brides are miles beyond anything else the lowly peons could possibly do. The guitar assault in the very punk-influenced “Alternative Teenage Suicide” allows for more experimentation in terms of song length and general sound, and “King of the Demimonde” even goes farther in musically experimenting, with Burning Brides creating a down-and-dirty guitar assault not unlike Motorhead, III-era Danzig, and Alice in Chains.

“Century Song” is just a re-hash of ZZTop’s sizzling guitars and an amalgamation of the best of southern rock, with no redeeming factor. “Dance With The Devil” falls flat on its face, trying to ensnare listeners with intricate drum lines and earthy bass lines, but it is again Dimitri’s insincere voice that quickly drives the track into the ground. The same cliché guitar riffs and strung-out vocals make “To Kill A Swan” yet another grunge-arena rock hybrid that aurally rips the intricacies of each of the respective movements while ignoring the soul that allowed listeners to connect with the band. In a song that is remarkably like Motley Crue’s “Misunderstood”, “Pleasure in the Same” benefits from another solid set of bass lines intertwining well with the harmonica and vocals on the track.

More melodic than the average fare on “Leave No Ashes”, “From You” is a track that moves closer to the style of The Eagles, Beach Boys and Everclear, but still lacks that simple component of reaching out to the audience. The strung-out nature of Dimitri’s vocals show eir’s desire to make eir voice into an instrument, but instead of harmonizing well with the rest of the instruments, the end result is that ey’s voice lies over all the rest of the music, obscuring what really is a solid effort by the rest of the band. If Dimitri would drop the idol worship of Layne and Kurt, chances are that this band could be very convincing in their aping of 70s rock, like a more rocking version of My Morning Jacket.

Top Tracks: From You, Heart Full of Black

Rating: 4.5/10

Burning Brides – Leave No Ashes / 2004 V2 / 12 Tracks / http://www.burningbrides.com / http://www.v2music.com / Reviewed 25 September 2004

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