Burn holds a semi mythical place in the pantheon of the hypothetical New York Hardcore Olympus as they were relatively short lived and only had a couple of recording sessions (releasing at one point only a single four song EP and a couple of compilation appearances) while impacting many with their volatile shows and powerful presence that seemed to surround the band (some people I know swear that seeing Burn was one of the best shows that they ever saw); from these descriptions, I searched out the Burn EP and the compilations to hear what I could from the band and also tracked down a few live recordings that contained songs that were either seemingly never recorded or just sat somewhere unreleased, depriving many of any other potentially jarring material until the release of The Last Great Sea.
However blasphemous this statement might be to people that swear by Burn, whenever I put on anything from the band, The Last Great Sea is at least what I listen to as the three songs on this tiny EP are my favorite songs from the band, particularly the first song and its killer rhythms that are powerful and driving as well as a powerful performance by vocalist Chaka Malik (hearing “New Morality” ; but really the whole EP is just so damn good as it really shows off the musical chops of the guys in the band without sacrificing one whit of sinuous songwriting or pounding power (the chorus guitar part in “Tales Of Shatou” just kills me every time I hear its descending scale while the quiet section of the song is perfect for the final flurry that resolves the song and the main guitar riff and drums of “The Last Great Sea” is just plain awesome), and Malik’s socially conscious lyrics and vocal performances are spot on to the music as he mixes his hardcore howling with some powerful almost rap / spoken word that sounds like some vicious jazz.
The Last Great Sea is simply an amazing EP and just one more piece of evidence that Burn was an amazing synthesis of great musicians that just had something incredibly special together, and the EP also makes you wonder that had it been released when the band was active in its hey day, would Burn have been catapulted into the stratosphere of punk and hardcore or maybe even transcended the oftentimes insular community into such rarified air that another unnamed band that exploded into the mainstream metal and alternative rock spotlight by fusing metal, hard rock, and rap into one vicious stew (and which also had its beginnings in the hardcore did attain around roughly the same time period); I guess that question will never be answered, but at least we have what we have from Burn, including this awesome EP, The Last Great Sea.
8.5 / 10
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