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Burn: Ice Age

Although Burn have a convoluted and in places tragic history, what attracted me to their impending Ice Age was the band's present, not their past. After all, any album featuring the vocal talents of Newman lynchpin Steve Newman and the guitar work of Chris Green, who you probably know from Tyketto and should (but probably don't) know from Pride, has to be worthy of consideration. But let's pay respect where it's due here, this newly arrived pair of burners are on top form, but then so are the founding siblings of bassist Marc and keyboard player Barney Stackhouse. Alongside them stands guitarist Phil Hammond, who joined up for the band's previous album, 2007's Global Warning, and whose demos inspired the creation of this fourth outing from the band. In terms of drums, well the only mention of them comes as 'additional drum editing' which is undertaken by George Stackhouse (bass on "Hate" comes from Charlie Stackhouse, giving the impression this is very much an in(stack)house endeavour… sorry), so we're left guessing who the kit work comes from or whether they are 'electronic' and if they are, then they are the best programmed drums I've heard.

So with the band previously compared favourably to Whitesnake, Jagged Edge and Lion in past incarnations, this latest version of Burn still falls broadly into that category, hard and heavy melodic rock the order of the day. This time however there's maybe a prouder strut in evidence, the pomp and ceremony of Blue Murder occasionally brought to mind, while the more 'modern' guitar crunch – one of this album's defining features – is much heavier than any of those bands mentioned. Immediately acknowledging their past, the short intro "Global Warning" sets the scene for the ultra-catchy but still hard hitting "Irontown". Newman positively thriving in a setting that's slightly tougher than we're used to hearing him in. The singer adding a little grit to his rich melodic tones, while the guitar solos from Green are impeccable throughout.

The variance from song to song is impressive, "Jealousy" leaning in a more melodic rock direction, "Hate" a ballsy rocker, while "Sink Together" is a mid-paced grinder. The core trio are in imperious form, Hammond's guitar work gutsy yet full of guile, the keyboards from Barney constantly embellishing the bristling rockers with colour and class, while Marc provides the bottom end glue that holds the entire album together. Whether through the pompous pout of "Love Song", punchy and pounding "Twenty Twenty" or the shout and sing along of "Ice Age", Burn never put a foot wrong, including the brave but beautiful piano and voice only "Wasteland", which offers a classy mid album sidestep.

For a variety of reasons the life of Burn has been something of a stop-start experience, but Ice Age finds them in possibly the best shape they've ever been. Hopefully they'll kick on from here and become the constants on the scene that they always should have.

Track Listing
1. Global Warning
2. Irontown
3. Jealousy
4. Hate
5. Sink Together
6. The Girl Who Wanted Everything
7. Live Again
8. Wasteland 
9. Love Song 
10. Twenty Twenty 
11. Punishment of Lust  
12. Payback
13. Ice Age  

Added: March 24th 2018
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Burn on Facebook
Hits: 1093
Language: english

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