Burns Out Bright – Distance and Darkness (CD)

Burns Out Bright – Distance and Darkness / 6 Tracks / 2004 Deep Elm Records / http://www.burnsoutbright.com / http://www.deepelm.com / Released 24 February 2004 / Reviewed 16 February 2004

Burns Out Bright is more of the Brand New and Coheed and Cambria style of emo-rock than say the Fugazi and Mission of Burma school, but one thing that the band does share with a number of their labelmates is the extreme devotion to creating s killer album. We, as the listening public, have “Distance and Darkness”, a sub-20 minute EP to whet our tastes for this new act. Starting out the disc with “Crowded Streets, Empty Skies”, Burns Out Bright creates a brilliant maelstrom of hard-edged guitars and furious vocals. The next track, “Our Proudest Moments”, chips at the cold façade of the opening track with a jangly guitar and set of emotive vocals, before throwing into the mix a Thursday/Thrice guitar. The dual harmonics on the aforementioned “Our Proudest Moments” are not to be passed over. Lyrics that are doubled up on the track really are an aural indicator for the swirling eddies of doubt that an individual feels in a relationship.

Moving into “Watership Down”, the guitars do play themselves off as slightly hackneyed, but the earnest vocals on this track do loads in trying to create an opus that is greater than its constituent parts. The chorus in a track like “Watership Down” is ultimately singable after just a few listens, and the contrast of screamed out to softly-sung vocals on this track further renders a dichotomy of the myriad of voices omnipresent in one’s psyche. However, the highest peaks of “Distance and Darkness” come to light during “Something I Can Steal”, (not a cover of the Millencolin song), which combines some of the most solid elements (jangly guitars, dual singing/screaming vocals, and catchy chorus) to make a song on par with Brand New’s “Guernica”.

The CD winds down with the lower-key sounds of “Twenty-Two”, and the road trip anthem “Prodigal”. Overall, Burns Out Bright has put together one of the best EPs in recent memory, only rivaling A Small Victory in that department. The six songs on this disc accomplish two key things: first off, they maintain a cohesive sound, and secondly, they can create innovation in each and every track without losing this cohesion. Burns Out Bright has been around for about five years, and I simply cannot wait until the band comes out with an LP. It will be interesting to see if they can keep up this incredibly incandescent and high level of energy over the course of 40 minutes, instead of possibly falling into the “burning twice as bright, burning half as long” paradox.

Top Tracks : Crowded Streets, Empty Skies , Something I Can Steal

Rating: 8.6/10

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