There’s been quite a resurgence of interest in electro-rock and post-punk recently, hasn’t there? And within this wave of new acts looking to get a foothold in the industry, it can be tough to stand out and leave a more lasting impression. Last year it was Beastmilk‘s moment of glory, this year it’s time for This Burning Age to make their presence felt in a stronger way than before. The Brits got their plan figured out way ahead of their contemporaries; this first three-track EP is but the start of a series of releases in the next year, eventually culminating in 12 tracks over 12 months. A pretty neat strategy, one which ensures the band maintain a constant stream of interest in an era where the ‘Next Big Thing’ shifts wildly. If these three tracks are anything to go by, we have something remarkable on our hands.
The first aspect that jumps out is a musical resemblance to Trent Reznor‘s nightmares; ‘Disappeared’ harkens back to “The Downward Spiral” with its pounding pseudo-synthetic drums and electro-fueled verses. The vocals of the mysteriously named Friday represent a cocktail of two parts David Bowie to one part Trent himself, and are truly remarkable in the way he shifts between the two. The chorus is at once radio-catchy and yet fully entrenched in the ‘alternative’ movement, reflected in the lyrics that are, according to Friday, based on Dylan Thomas‘ “Do Not Go Into That Gentle Night”. Well the only thing we’re raging about is that the song dies rather unexpectedly at the end.
Next up is ‘Your Will Is My Kill’, which possesses a similarly strong chorus, and a showcase of the range that Friday possesses vocally. The dirty guitar groove that underlines the song’s sexualised taboo theme hearkens subtly back to the alt-metal era, albeit with that electronic underscoring that modernises their sound. This is however the weakest track of the three, not through any particular fault; the song just lacks a lasting individuality that its two brethren possess in different ways.
Rounding out the EP is ‘Want’, a simple ballad that tips its cap to the late Lou Reed with its plaintive vocals and sombre piano chords. The lyrics, focusing on unrequited love and unhealthy obsession, are well-crafted, particularly the poignant line “You are everything I’ll ever want forever more…damn you, damn you”. This Burning Age really shine through in their songwriting on this track, as the final climax crashes into being with a crescendo reminiscent of post-rock in its intensity, and then fades out in a haze of electro.
A step-up from their début album, Supplication EP sets the bar high for the remaining three EPs. If they hone their songcrafting, and turn out songs of the same calibre as ‘Want’ and ‘Disappeared’, This Burning Age will mark themselves firmly on the radars of electro-rock enthusiasts. Some people may be engaging in acts of supplication themselves after hearing this release.