Seabright Arms, London, 19th July 2019
Listening to Shoegaze-influenced bands on record and listening to them live are frequently two very different yet equally mesmerising experiences. Naturally, the run-up to a live set is spent juggling curiosity, uncertainty, and eagerness to witness the alchemy unfurl first hand. Southampton-based four-piece Burning House certainly didn’t disappoint as their melodiously melancholic rhythms transformed into blistering walls of guitar allowing their sound to come alive with more intensity than I could have imagined.
A mix of aural intuition and intrigue for an artist who orchestrates their sound with such an indulgently intellectual pensive approach left me with the compulsion to travel 200 miles to check out the launch show of their latest album “Anthropocene”. With lyricism which sits right in the eye of the metaphysical storm, sapiophiles can get the rare experience of being sated on music alone. Take the track “Mimosa” which was pre-released ahead of the album for the perfect anachronistically articulate example, “Icarus, Icarus, won’t cry anyway, unfurl two wings, your hurried waxen-wings of pride and shame”. Even if you’re dead inside you can appreciate the artful ingenuity.
The bar had definitely been set for Burning House after the three incredible opening acts Hether, Altergaze, and Yumi and the Weather who all brought distinctly different brands of melodic Alt Rock to the stage.
Yet, Burning House gripped the room with searing notes from the distorted guitars which resonated with stomach-knotting disconcertment. Each track independently circumvented sounding like an assimilation of any of the bands from the eras of their influence. It was a stylised smorgasbord of vintage Indie, Shoegaze, and fuzzy erratic Post Rock which anyone with a penchant for 80s and 90s Alt-Rock is sure to appreciate.
While the two guitars, bass and vocals all worked together to carve out magnetic and frequently caustic catharsis, the drums brought a totally new dynamic upon hearing them live. It wasn’t just how intricately and rhythmically the hits bounced from each skin and cymbal, it was the conviction behind each deftly timed aggressive blow aurally depicting an entirely new facet of existentialism. The rest of the arrangement allowed you to appreciate the tremulous nature of the inclination and the drums showed that existentialism often sits hand in hand with unrestrainable rage which spikes through the apathy. Nietzsche would have been proud, not that I can claim to speak for Nietzsche now, but the sentiment still stands.
You can check out the latest album from Burning House for yourselves by heading over to Spotify and Bandcamp where you’ll also be able to grab a copy of the album on CD or on a limited edition 2LP vinyl.
If you’re a bit gutted you missed the debut show, keep up to date with the latest tour dates via Facebook.
Review by Amelia Vandergast