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Burner Band - The Age of the Liar

  by Julie Cruickshank

published: 26 / 5 / 2023

Burner Band - The Age of the Liar
Label: Shed Load Records
Format: CD


Sizzling second album from The Burner Band, a heady mix of country, reggae and folk roots music

The Burner Band are a hard-working country roots band based in Leeds, England. Their first album ‘Signs and Wonders’ was received with much acclaim, and new release ‘Age of the Liar’ looks set to build upon that momentum. The band is headed by chief songwriter/singer and guitarist Lewis Burner, who also plays harmonica and a mean banjo. Ian Blackburn plays double bass and also sings, Steven Hicken Jr. is on pedal steel, and the line-up is completed by drummer Lewis Beresford and guitarist Chris Wallum. The album kicks off with ‘Saint Boy’, a fast shuffle fizzing with banjo and a thumping double bass. ‘Living In Fear’ takes us into reggae territory, overlaid with crunchy guitar. ‘Dark and Lonesome Street’ is a terrific track, assertive drumming leading foot-tapping slapping double bass, duelling guitar and banjo, threaded through with sweet steel pedal. ‘Hot Dog King’ opens with wailing harmonica, introducing us to the tale of a famous hot dog vendor in New York City. Medium-paced, the song has a pleasing cadence. Ian Blackburn takes lead vocals on ‘Strange Things’, a bluesy interlude. ‘Big Hole’ resumes the reggae vibe, overlaid with a lush veneer of steel pedal. A song entreating those who harden their hearts to the world’s injustices to think again, Lewis conveys with a passion his frustration: “There’s a big hole where there should be a heart/Open your heart/Open your mind” he implores. Title track ‘Age of the Liar’ is a melange of reggae and rock, a call to stand up against the gradual grinding-down of pay and rights: “Alienation on the streets/Maybe the plan’s complete/When injustice becomes a law/There’ll be a planet at eternal war”. ‘Sertraline’ is a busy country shuffle, drums click-clacking, shot through with a honeyed steel pedal. ‘Won’t Own Me’ resumes the reggae vibe, a track to dance to, notable for the thwack and groove of its guitar solo. The album closes with the jazzy ‘People Everywhere’, which feels almost experimental; a sign of things to come for The Burner Band after their forays into reggae? Beautifully produced and musically impressive, ‘Age of the Liar’ is one of those albums that requires play after play to explore its rich depth and intensity, and consolidates The Burner Band as one of the most exciting bands recording and playing in the UK right now.

Track Listing:-
1 Saint Boy
2 Living In Fear
3 Dark & Lonesome Street
4 Hot Dog King
5 Strange Things
6 Big Hole
7 Age Of The Liar
8 Sertraline
9 Won't Own Me
10 People Everywhere

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