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The Flaming Sideburns - Silver Flames

The Flaming Sideburns
Silver Flames
by Kevin Lewis at 22 March 2021, 8:38 PM

THE FLAMING SIDEBURNS are a Finnish band formed in 1995. Centered around a hard rock core with some flashes of blues rock, grunge and AOR, they can shift from gentle ballads to hard driving rock with ease. Svart Records is releasing their latest offering, Silver Flames, on April 23, 2021.

The record starts with the title track, “Silver Flames”. The guitar riff is a throwback sound. It is rough and gritty and reminds of those catchy songs from the 1980s to early 2000s. The rhythm is not overly complex with a relatively simple drum beat and a bass line that rides along under the guitar. It is a cool beat with a solid foundation.

A Song For Robert” is a song with a faster beat and really good pace. The drummer plays a larger role, keeping up the rhythm and throwing in some nice fills and rolls, showcasing his ability to keep the beat or drive the tempo with precision. The twin guitar solo that has both playing something different simultaneously is somewhat novel and sounds good in the setting. These guitarists can work together or in counterpart, a talent not many bands can write for.

Reverberation (Doubt)” is a song with more of an eerie, ethereal sound. The tunings and tones used are darker and feature a lot of heavy distortion. While the band uses distortion a lot, this feels like a more prominent example, probably due to the overall feel of the song. The vocals go from gritty to almost belting and have some echo underneath much of it that adds to the feeling of gloom and doom.

Lighthouse Keeperb" and “Soulshaking” are two mid-tempo songs that really fit into the pocket sound of THE FLAMING SIDEBURNS. “Soulshaking” does feature a minor bass solo in the middle, proving that all of the musicians in this band are capable of stepping to the front and leading the songs. Not many bands give their rhythm section quite this much love and it is nice to hear.

The last two songs on the record, “Nibiru” and "Trance-Noché” are in Spanish, likely a nod to the lead singers’ Argentinian roots. Both are ethereal songs with some interesting tunings and rhythms. Both songs are slower and almost get into a doom feel without using the really heavy guitar tones to get the sound. They achieve the doom sound without the typical down tuning of the guitars.

The interplay of bringing the bass and drums to the front show this is a well-rounded band that doesn’t just have a formula to write songs that gets old and tired. The use of distortion throughout is a signature sound that doesn’t get featured as often in modern rock and metal. It’s also a sound that only works when done well, like here, or else it just sounds like unskilled musicians trying to cover their mistakes.

THE FLAMING SIDEBURNS are skilled. Their compositions are interesting and engaging, the songs feeling cohesive across the entire album. The production and mixing sound good. This is a catchy record with a lot of good songs that can easily get stuck in your head. You won’t be able to listen to this record and not tap a toe or catchy your foot moving to the beat, the mark of an album that makes you want to listen over and over again.

Songwriting:  8
Musicianship:  8
Memorability:  7
Production:  8

4 Star Rating

1. Silver Flame
2. Perfect Storm
3. A Song For Robert
4. Cast Out My Demons
5. Reverberation (Doubt)
6. Lighthouse Keeper
7. Soulshaking
8. Searching Like A Hyena
9. Freak Out
10. Neverending
11. Nibiru
12. Trance-Noché
Eduardo Martinez – Vocals
The Punisher – Bass
Jay Burnside – Drums
Jukka Suksi – Guitar
Arimatti Jutila – Guitar
Record Label: Svart Records


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