Now this is a classic Revelation release and for some, the classic Revelation release; Burn kind of blew up some people’s sense of what a hardcore record could be, springing from a New York hardcore scene with what at the time were some pretty known names in that scene (members of Absolution and Beyond comprise this group’s make up or DNA) taking what they did in their previous bands and turning it all on its ear while adding one of the most dynamic vocalists New York ever produced. Sadly, this self titled EP was the only studio material available from the band (besides one or two compilations) for a really long time and perhaps that only added to the mystique of this record and this band; but to only attribute the high regard with which this EP holds to such a non musical set of circumstances is a monstrous disservice to the music on the record from Burn.
Chaka (Malik, the vocalist of the band) is one of the first thing that stands out to you as the EP plays because it is one of the most distinct voices in hardcore (if you have not heard him before, there are definitely some similarities between the way he sounds and the way Aaron Bedard from the current hardcore band Bane sounds); his lyrics sound strong and tough (listen to how he yells “Shall Be Judged” at the end of the song with the same name) with the way that he delivers them and how he emphasizes certain phrases and alternates from talking (almost rapping to an extent) to this intense growling. The second aspect that might stick out to you might just be the drums as Alan Cage (from Beyond and later of Quicksand and later still of 108) as he is simply one of the most powerful drummers that you might ever hear, and the manner in which he locks the rhythm and drives the band is impressive (in “Drown” he locks down with the cadence of Chaka to create some rather tense moments and accents to the words). I would be completely remiss if I did not mention the third ingredient of Burn’s powerful sound and that is the guitar playing of Gavin Van Vlack (former guitarist of Absolution; Van Vlack’s guitars are subtle and switches up by manic riffing and the occasional flourish of harmonics or even picked parts that further add different timbres to the whole package.
Burn definitely had a huge influence on a number of bands and musicians within the modern hardcore and punk scene and this EP is one of the only places to hear that impact (or it was for a real long time), but after hearing this EP and some of the compilation tracks from the band and some of the demos and live recordings floating around out there, I am left wondering just what impact would the band would have had with more than just this great EP.
8.5 / 10
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