As a young scribliong, my very first exposure to music that could be deemed "heavy" was my father's Black Sabbath collection. Indeed, the opening cough on "Sweet Leaf," and subsequent sweet-ass riffage, was the clarion call of my youth. This appreciation for the low, slow, and psychedelic as a child has only grown to this day, and, more often than not, I'm quite comfortable strolling the pastures of stoner rock, doom, heavy psych, and affiliated genres.
As such, premiering a track from Burning Sister's forthcoming self-titled EP was a bit of a no-brainer. This self-declared "mile high downer rock" trio from Denver plays in an admittedly crowded field, but possess a unique ability to balance a simultaneously mellow and energetic quality. I'll blather on further soon enough, but before you're scared away, check out the excellent "Lord of Nothing" below!
There's a really lush and organic quality to this track that is, frankly, a little hard to describe. Although the central riff is certainly hefty in its own right--and catchy as hell to boot--the general tone is exceptionally light-footed and surprisingly graceful. The vocals are sing-chanted in a fairly understated fashion, allowing the guitar itself to carry the groovy weight of the track on burly shoulders. No question about it: the instrumentation is streamlined and proficient across the board, and the bass work is worth special mention. Seldom does bass feel so present and grounded in stoner rock, but here, it really does make a significant impact in the general low-key vibe. This tune, and the EP in general, sits comfortably between a variety of loosely affiliated sub-genres, and it is the bass across the board that keeps everything self-contained.
The track structure itself, while seemingly straightforward, does have a few trick up its sleeve. Burning Sister illustrate a balance between mellow and energetic, and "Lord of Nothing" is a prime example--take the one-two punch of the mid-track bass solo, which then bleeds into a series of 70's-era rockin' licks before coming back 'round to the familiar simple-yet-earwormy motif. It's a clever approach, and allows for a level of subtlety and intrigue that is regrettably rare in the oceans of underground stoner rock.
If "Lord of Nothing" has proven enjoyable--and if it hasn't, I'm surprised you're still here!--I highly recommend you check out "Path Destroyer" and "Oblivinaut" over on bandcamp, which are currently available prior to the EP's full release on December 9th. Ever track herein is a certified jam.
Burning Sister - Burning Sister EP will be released Dec. 9th, 2020, and can be pre-ordered here.
We provide thoughtful reviews of music that is heavy, gloomy...and loud enough to wake us from slumber. Written by a highfalutin peasantry.
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