Every Tuesday, Torontoist scours record store shelves in search of the city’s most notable new releases and brings you the best—or sometimes just the biggest—of what we’ve heard in Sound Advice.
“Burning Love” isn’t just a hunka-hunka Elvis single from the early ’70s, you know. It’s also the moniker of a convulsive local hardcore punk ‘n’ roll machine with a shit-kickin’ new disc. Comprised of former Cursed vocalist Chris Colohan and ex-members of an assortment of other Ontario hardcore outfits (Vatican Chainsaw Massacre, Our Father, Mature Situations), Burning Love are baleful brewers of piss ‘n vinegar, and their debut full-length, Songs For Burning Lovers (out now on Deranged Records), serves up an acrid glass of the good stuff.
“Oh, but hardcore frightens me,” you say. “It makes my ears bleed and my pants wet.” Ah, but you see, while these fellers may have backgrounds in ghastly, metal-informed hardcore, this disc is more indebted to straight-up rock falling somewhere in between The Bronx and Motorhead. The opening one-two punch of “Destroyer of Worlds” and “Don’t Ever Change” sets the tone early with snappy drumming, blood ‘n whiskey blues scale riffs, and anthemic shout-alongs—nary a cookie monster growl or chugga-chugga breakdown to be heard. Of course, there’s still plenty of acerbity—thanks to Colohan’s larynx-ripping scream-singing and Ian Blurton’s grimy analog production—but the hooks are big, the arrangements are tight, and the lyrics are (gasp!) decipherable. No convoluted time signatures here: just a bunch of booze-fuelled, howl-at-the-moon ragers with a dollop of THC (peep the Queens of the Stone Age-ish repetitive riffage of “Momento Mori” or “Morning After Party”) thrown in for good measure.
Ultimately, Songs For Burning Lovers should go over well with hardcore fans of every ilk: Black Flag-waving hardcore punk OGs, Every Time I Die-blasting Southern-fried hardcore heads, and Pitchfork-reading indie kids with slight hardcore propensities (a.k.a. Fucked Up fans). And infectious pelvic-thrusters like “Money Shots” (streaming above) should beguile even those with lesser-banged heads. Old school Cursed fans or hardcore purists may scoff at Bleeding Love for their crossover appeal (and Colohan slings shit right back at them on “Don’t Ever Change”), but in a genre that has a reset rate of five years, who can blame them for dropping pretenses and partying like they’ve got a bone to pick with the morning sun?