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burial teens

Album review: Burial Teens - Fascist Chrome

Tagged “devotional”, “dirty”, “freak”, “nasty”, and “sick” on Bandcamp, I really didn’t know what to expect when I stumbled upon what appears to be Burial Teens’ debut LP release Fascist Chrome. Are they serious? Will I need a mental scrub after listening? Was I getting myself into something that would find me on a government blacklist?
Somewhat hesitantly, I hit the play button anyway, and I’m glad I did so. Burial Teens do old-school, theatrical skank punk in all the right ways across this nine-song release.
Lyrically, I have no idea what the crap they are singing about. The perfected nasal wail of the singer and lo-fi nature of the recording make it nearly impossible to tell. With song titles like “I Believe in Demons” and “Sex with the Bisquick,” I can only imagine. But, for an album that I can glean absolutely no content from, it is a highly enjoyable listen.
The before mentioned vocal stylings surprisingly grow on you as opposed to grate. In an adorable and reminiscent way, they ring of Stanley Weasel, most famously of the Riverbottom Nightmare Band from Emmit Otter’s Jugband Christmas (which is about the most anti-punk comparison I could ever come up with).
But fear not, the comparison to Muppets stops right there as this album shreds, rips, and spits in all the right ways. It oozes discordance and sass. It bleeds with general fuckoffery. The instruments are noticeably tight for punk music, especially from the rhythm section. The bassist and drummer really understand why they are there, picking their spots to flare out, but otherwise pummeling the beat along.
The albums two longest songs, “Power and Light / Isodora” and the previously mentioned “Sex with the Bisquick,” show a patience and songwriter’s touch you usually don’t see in a genre dominated by songs that usually come in under 2 minutes. And for you purists, they also have a couple of those in “Zero Day” and “Naked Earth.”
What really separates this from your everyday, run-of-the-mill lo-fi punk record is the band’s willingness to step outside the usual constraints of the genre. They often allow their songs to get a little dreamy and psychedelic, even as they beat the calcified remains of a dead horse out of a few riffs. The guitar work is especially crafted to offer something just a little bit more than your old familiar power chords.

From sounds of Bleach-era Nirvana to snarly Sex Pistols to bombastic Who riffs to dark and rumbling Sabbath, Burial Twins manages to conjure a slight revision to the old tried-and-true punk formula to come up with something just off kilter enough to be enjoyed listen after listen. Fascist Chrome is well worth your $3 or more.


You can see Burial Teens live tomorrow at Harling’s for Mills Record Company’s first anniversary party. More details here. Facebook event page.

--Zach Hodson

Zach Hodson is a monster. He once stole a grilled cheese sandwich from a 4-year-old girl at her birthday party. He will only juggle if you pay him. I hear he punched Slimer right in his fat, green face. He knows the secrets to free energy, but refuses to release them until Saved by the Bell: Fortysomethings begins production. He is also in Dolls on Fire and Drew Black & Dirty Electric, as well as contributing to various other Kansas City-based music, comedy, and art projects. 

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Mills Record Co celebrates its first anniversary tomorrow

Mills Record Company is hosting its first anniversary party tomorrow evening, May 3, at Harling’s. The show kicks off around 9:30 with a DJ set from The Dropout Boogie. Burial Teens will perform at 10:30 and Shy Boys perform at 11:30.
There will also be in-store specials at Mills during the day, including 20% off all used records, free stuff, and, yes, birthday cake.
Head down to 314 Westport Rd and help celebrate a great local record shop. Facebook event page.

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