This Saturday (April 13th) at The Rocket Room The Burning Hell will be celebrating the release of their new album People and kicking off an extensive tour which will run into the summer and take them all over the globe in 2013. I was thrilled to get an advanced copy of People a couple weeks ago from front-man Mathias Kom and so I donned my headphones with expectations high after falling deeply in love with their last record Flux Capacitor.
People consists mostly of songs that Mathias wrote last February for his 2012 RPM album, but these have been given the full band treatment to the point that they sound completely new. Opener “Grown-Ups” is one of the handful of non-RPM tracks that make an appearance; The track took me by surprise, trading in the ukulele and horns of Flux Capacitor for grungy guitars and Pavement-esque shoe-gaze rock. Not your typical upbeat opening track, but great nonetheless. It filled me with teen nostalgia, and I love the way Ariel’s clarinet plays the lead as if it were a guitar.
My favorite part of People is that The Burning Hell finally get to rock out. With songs like the anthemic “Amateur Rappers” and the epic rock opera of “Barbarians”, Mathias and the gang now have an excuse to kick their already incredible stage show up to full-on craziness. I can’t wait to see how these songs translate live. Don’t worry though, the band haven’t completely reinvented themselves, there are still the upbeat pop songs (“Holidaymakers”,”Wallflowers”) and pensive numbers (“Travel Writers”, “Sentimentalists”, “Industrialists”) that we know and love them for. The band also gets a hand from Stanley Brinks (formerly of Herman Dune) and Freschard who contribute vocals to the reggae-infused “Realists”.
People is another incredible album from one of the most innovative bands around. The songwriting is top notch, as we’ve come to expect, the arrangements are fresh and it’s easy to tell that the band had a lot of fun making the album. Check out live renditions from People and other Burning Hell favorites this Saturday (April 13th) at The Rocket Room along with Nick Ferrio & His Feelings.