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I’ve been saving this new Burnt Ones album on Castle Face until the end of today’s marathon review session in the hope that it will be a morale boost, so it had better be good. I just put it on the stereo and the signs so far are positive. Opener ‘Pulse’ mixes Syd Barrett-esque vocal whimsy with weirdly distant-sounding guitar fuzz that lends it a summer haze which is half ...

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9/10 Mike Staff review, 27 March 2014

I’ve been saving this new Burnt Ones album on Castle Face until the end of today’s marathon review session in the hope that it will be a morale boost, so it had better be good. I just put it on the stereo and the signs so far are positive. Opener ‘Pulse’ mixes Syd Barrett-esque vocal whimsy with weirdly distant-sounding guitar fuzz that lends it a summer haze which is half Tame Impala, half No Age.

As the album progresses the melodies twist and turn in a constantly restless lo-fi psych pop wriggle that’s kind of like Morgan Delt turning his heat-blasted sonics to the relentless melodies of early Of Montreal, scuffing them up and breaking them down into something a bit less brightly-coloured. ‘Moneyman’ brings Beatles riffs into a rinky-dink weirdo pop context, ‘Submarine’ introduces some full grunge chug’n’splatter to proceedings, then ‘Bye Bye Floating Charm’ is like that cheese dream you had about the Kinks appearing on The Magic Roundabout.

The ramshackle Ariel Pink-ish thrown together aesthetic is nicely tempered by a succession of well written songs that it’ll take you several listens to properly decode from this muddy, scratchy concoction, but as with the aforementioned Morgan Delt’s album they turn this self-sabotage into their biggest strength, and the constantly tuneful nature of the songs contained here is always kept from becoming irritating (or made more irritating, depending on your perspective) by a healthy dose of muffled, broken noise.

Although I only get to listen to this once because I have other things to review, I can see it being a real grower.


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