Black Wire Records (BWR-07), 2016
BURLAP were Max, Naif, Tom and Silky. Recorded and mixed by Ivan Lisyak, March 2015. Mastered by Jonathan Boulet. Artwork by Jess Locke. Layout by Erin O’Brien.
With ‘Burnout King’, Burlap have created a record that sounds like a disgruntled and deranged teenager teetering on the verge of going postal. It’s actually menacing to listen to at times, the way the best hard rock or hardcore should be. The first two songs ‘Snotty’ and ‘Don’t Touch Me’ sound exactly like their titles and set the scene but it’s ‘Single Mothers’ and the albums first single ‘Good Boy’ where this precocious teen really hits its stride. The refrain of the latter “I’m a good boy / I keep my mouth shut” becomes more and more insistent as the song progresses while the guitars almost become more subdued, providing an interesting juxtaposition. It’s the dynamic shifts that I really love with this band. There are times when an unexpected change completely transforms the feeling of the song. Take ‘Bubbles’ for example; the records fifth track starts off sounding like the breakdown to a death metal song then somewhere around the midway point we’re lulled into a false sense of comfort by some pretty sounding guitar parts before being dropped right back where we started in the final minute of the track. When I first heard Burlap on their 2014 demo I thought they sounded something like The Jesus Lizard or Killdozer, and I guess they still kinda do, but with this album I hear more of a comparison to acts closer to home like Pale Heads or early Witch Hats. The release comes to us from Black Wire (and Trait Records), a label that started around a collectively run record store in Sydney where the band have frequently played since their formation and features artwork from Melbourne based singer-songwriter and illustrator Jess Locke. Fans of loud, sludgy rock music and a penchant for misanthropy will really get a kick out of ‘Burnout King’. – 4ZZZ
Sydney’s Burlap sound like they’re right on the edge of collapse. Burnout King is dirty, depraved, deranged, self-destructive noise rock done right. Hugely oppressive bass, possibly being played lying down in the corner of a room, eyes rolled right back, is forced conscious by the lethargic but insistent pounding of drums. Miserable, antagonistic guitar lines torment at will from a little further away. Everything keeps falling further behind everything else and discordance is thrown around like monkey shit. Spiteful rants about disaffection and isolation are grunted and snarled a-la David Yow and Pissed Jeans, but driven deeper into bitter self-deprecation by rabid, throat-shredding bellowing. And thankfully, notwithstanding all of the cliched garbage I have just written in the lines above, Burlap manage to pull all of it off sounding original and surprisingly dynamic. A snorter of a record. – Cacophemisms