Ten-piece psych-punk weirdos Burnt Hills are well known for scarcely ever venturing out of their basement. It does happen though, and Live at The Low Beat captures just such an occasion. With a full 6 guitars in the line-up, naturally things get heavy and cosmic very quickly. Limited edition of 250 LP copies, on Golden Lab.
LP £14.99 ROWF 55
Limited LP on Golden Lab. Edition of 250 copies.
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- Live at The Low Beat by Burnt Hills
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6/10 Mr Pearl's Brain Customer review, 21st November 2016
The theory of Burnt Hills is better than how it turns out in practice. They have ten guitars! Or is it ten members and six guitars? And three drummers! I think! There's a video clip of this performance on the internet and they are all crammed into a tiny space at the back of a restaurant and almost tripping over each other's gear as they play. This many personnel need to be well drilled, or else you're going to get mush. We have seen from Rhys Chatham's large scale pieces that 100 guitars sound exactly like 400 guitars. More is not always more.
Burnt Hills are not tight, because they are improvising, and who ever heard of a tight jam? So the music does tend toward shouty unintelligible guitar mush. But there is a definite spirit of exploration, a vibe, if you will, to be discerned through the sonic fog. I have seen more than one comment about this lot suggesting they're all pot heads but I don't see that in this performance.
The press release says nearly 50 minutes but really it's a lot closer to 30, maybe 35 minutes tops. That isn't a complaint, as this is the sort of record where you are definitely wondering where it's going before the finish. Shorter is sweeter. By the time the music does wind down, it has become absolutely thrilling, but I couldn't tell you how. It just sneaks up on you.
Also the sleeve is extremely well made but a little taller than standard, which you might find annoying to store.
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