THE NEW 'BURNAROUND' CD
By Randy Chandler
For front guy Tony Furlo, that amounts to ten solid years atop the Saginaw rock heap, abusing his larynx up to six nights a week. Although his voice is not nearly the soaring tornado of sound it used to be (Hey-YOU try to do his job night after night!), his is still one of the most passionate, expressive instruments in the Tri-Cities. And on the disc as a whole, it finally seems to have found its niche in his group's original material.
Rumors abound that new drummer Matt Johnson is largely responsible for all this newfound original material, but one only needs to listen to the CD to hear everyone's input.
>From Furlo's pissed-off rantings to Mark Weiler's bass backbone, to those riffs that clearly scream, "Axestorm!", Johnson may or may not have been the catalyst, but this disc defines Burnaround in spades.
The eight songs assembled here, while often reminiscent of metal-core bands like Sevendust, showcase more than anything else guitarist Steve Axestorm's died-in-the-wool heavy metal leanings. All the hallmarks are present: grinding distortion, gurgling stop-and-start rhythms, devilish vocals (that thankfully never stoop to cookie-monster growling)--the whole thing makes you want to involuntarily wave the devil horns salute! Not a ballad in sight, either - which probably suits the audience just fine.
The production is crisp; the mix clear, and by local standards, the disc sounds amazing. Done completely in Pro-Tools, one can only imagine what that mixdown must have been like: empty Jagermeister bottles everywhere, pupils glued to a computer screen, miles and miles of overfilled ashtrays; in other words, The BURNAROUND we all know and love!
Perhaps the best cut on the CD, the song where all the elements come together to form an undeniable bid for aural immortality, is the third track, "The Pressure Within". After an undulating bass part gives way to lurching dynamics, Furlo's caustic lyrics and Axestorm's riffage build an elaborate sonic landscape that ultimately separates them from the Godsmacks of the world.
Yes, this is Godsmack with brains, or maybe a whiter version of Sevendust. Either way, it fits in with Z93's playlist, and kudos to the band for getting local music on the airwaves that doesn't sound anemic compared to what precedes it and what follows.
It doesn't hurt that they are the most popular hard rock band in the area, second only to Jedi Mind Trip overall (when considering Jedi's many incarnations over the past decade) and BURNAROUND'S imitators have been trying to get paid on their scale for years.
Here's hoping that this disc is the key that unlocks the door to the big time. This is a hard working band that deserves it.