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By Randy Chandler


Being a musician is both a blessing and a curse when it comes to reviewing new material. On the one hand, a broad knowledge of music is helpful; but the downside is that critical analysis if often open to charges of favoritism and prejudice. So it was with great trepidation that I accepted this assignment.

The debut CD from local favorites BURNAROUND is currently in light rotation on Z93 and contains eight slabs of unabashedly heavy alt-metal, geared to the audience thirst for loud guitars and throat-shredding vocals.

The group has been a staple of the local scene since 1999, emerging from the ashes of the two reigning area cover bands, Wet Cement and Shovel, who had (unintentionally, I might add) monopolized the area club scene since 1993.


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.


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