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Burner - Baptized in Gasoline Award winner

Baptized in Gasoline
by Kenn Staub at 11 November 2020, 8:02 AM

Playing “gasoline fueled rock from Sweden with no brakes,” the Linkoping-based trio BÜRNER proudly channel the likes of MOTÖRHEAD, AC/DC, SAXON, and the RAMONES on their debut release, “Baptized In Gasoline” (Sept. 30). For the album’s entire 42 minutes the guys in BÜRNER put the petal to the metal and play unrelenting, balls out rock-and-roll. Each of the 12 songs is not only a rocker, but a demonstration of how a simple three-piece of guitar, bass, and drums can lay down a wall of melodic, head-banging sound when the playing is tight and each instrumentalist knows his role well enough to maximize it within a song’s structure.

Björn Ohlson’s vocals can best be described as LEMMY-like with a tinge of BON SCOTT around the edges. His guitar playing helps establish each track’s rhythm and he keeps the solos melodic, eschewing ostentation which would break up a song’s flow. Jon Andersson is adept at driving the pace with both a heavy bass drum kick and punching snares. More impressively, perhaps, are the subtle percussive elements he often works into the music. Mats Thuresson’s bass provides a steady backbone for each track, the glue which holds the guitar and drum together. The lyrics, centered on familiar tropes, are fun and catchy enough for me to have them going through my head as I write.

Hey, Hey” begins the album with a deceptively gentle guitar line, after which the song kicks in, smoothly transitioning to a melody that is rhythmically hooky despite being played in a methodical manner. Almost a stylistic trademark, BÜRNER uses similar methodically played, but catchy tempos as the foundation for several offerings on “Baptized In Gasoline.” This said, the beat of “Hey, Hey,” like that of most others songs on the album, is conducive to either head banging, leg stomping, fist waving, or however else one might choose to show being into the groove. “Hammerdown” follows, cymbal strikes leading into a racing melody. The guitar solo, longer than on the opening tune, fits the tone of the song. From the bass intro that starts “Kill Till Your Dead,” the third track all but screams MOTÖRHEAD. This up tempo three-and-a-half minutes features a nice drum lead into the guitar solo.

BÜRNER slows things down on “Run Like Hell,” which has a more classic metal feel. The rhythm marches right along and the lyrics are a treat. “Gasoline,” an ode to drag racing, is another track with a MOTÖRHEAD-like feel. Hitting on all cylinders from the get-go, the song’s lyrics hurtle you right down the strip to the race’s conclusion. In some respects “Slaughter” feels like a slightly mellowed out punk tune, echoing the RAMONES and RUNAWAYS. The melody is hooky and the percussion work shines.

The Burner” is yet another example of tight, melodic, quickly played metal. The rhythm work and guitar solo meld almost perfectly and subtle percussive elements underscore the track’s musical theme. An echoy guitar leads off “Don’t Fake The Ache,” with the drums and bass soon kicking into high gear to push the song forward. All three instruments are cohesive, with the guitar solo being reminiscent of ANGUS YOUNG’s rhythm-centric approach. “Murder” is sung with a sense of urgency, a sentiment also heard in the propulsive drums, guitar, and bass. Not for the first time in this review, I have to applaud the simple but appealing lyricism.

8 Million Reasons To Cry” is about a fire that destroys 8 million liters or 40,000 barrels of whiskey (a catastrophe BÜRNER cheekily attributes to the angels wanting a drink). The vocals and instrumentation demonstrate a fine interplay as the story unfolds for the listener. “Rock ‘N’ Roll” is a musically simple track that also manages to have a stylistic depth to it. A drinking song lamenting lost love (but with a surprise conclusion), “On The Shitlist” has a punk sensibility with a seriously grooving musical line.

BÜRNER impress on this, their first album. Though they stick to a fairly simple formula, the musical execution is top notch. This is obviously a band that takes pride in what they do. I offer as proof the fact that the outros to each song are not throwaways, but rather just as well thought out and played as the intros. The songs pull the listener in musically and lyrically. In sum, this album is unrelenting auditory adrenaline.

Musicianship: 9
Songwriting: 9
Memorability: 7
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. Hey, Hey
2. Hammerdown
3. Kill You ‘Till You’re Dead
4. Run Like Hell
5. Gasoline
6. Slaughter
7. The Burner
8. Don’t Fake The Ache
9. Murder
10. 8 Million Reasons To Cry
11. Rock ‘N’ Roll
12. On The Shitlist
Björn Ohlson – Vocals/Guitar
Mats Thuresson – Bass
Jon Andersson – Drums 
Record Label: Time to Kill Records


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