The Burning Hell - Revival Beach

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The Burning Hell - Revival Beach

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These days, the apocalypse is no longer the sovereign territory of survivalists, science fiction writers, and religious zealots: in one way or another, the end of the world is something we're confronted with every day. It's headline news, it's the subject of our favourite films, and it might just be real. Revival Beach, the eighth LP from Canada's The Burning Hell, is a response to that, and the songs on the album imagine different angles and aspects of how it all might end, whether that's a long way off or just around the corner.

Maybe the world will end while you're crashing a wedding, as happens to our unlucky protagonist in the hurdy gurdy-led dance party "Canadian Wine". On the other hand, as in "The Last Night", your last night on earth might be spent at a dull piano bar where nobody goes and nothing happens. Like "The Troll", maybe you'll be one of the lucky few survivors, giggling deep down in your bunker while the fools you tried to warn on Internet comment threads perish above.

Some of the songs on Revival Beach deal not with the apocalypse itself but with the bits and pieces of human lunacy that add up to it. The album opener, "Friend Army", is a twisted jingle in which the military attempts to recruit young people by comparing itself to bands, boyfriends, and theme songs. Cold winters and young loves are remembered with equal nostalgia in "The River (Never Freezes Anymore)", while "Nurse & Patient" is a love song told through a story of police brutality. The post-apocalypse is touched on, too—in "Minor Changes", it's a letter from an editor to an author of post-apocalyptic young adult fiction. In the album closer, "Supermoon", the characters from the album's other songs gather on Revival Beach to celebrate the passing of the old world.

The Burning Hell has changed a number of times over its ten year history, and Revival Beach sees the band morphed into a trio, with the three members pushing themselves in new directions: Ariel Sharratt on drums and bass clarinet, Darren Browne on bass and bouzouki, and Mathias Kom for the first time ever handling all guitar duties. The songs highlight the musical diversity of the band, shifting from jangly garage rock to 50s ballads, rembetika-tinged instrumentals, waltzes, and delicate, tiny bedtime songs, all while keeping Kom's storytelling as the central focus. Even though it's about the apocalypse, Revival Beach is not a grim record: it suggests that, despite how badly we've messed things up, there might still be something worth redeeming in us. At the very least, we can dance.

01./A1.  Friend Army  - (02:47)
02./A2. Race to Revival Beach - (01:31)
03./A3. Nurse & Patient   - (04:29)
04./A4. Canadian Wine  -(05:28)
05./A5. The Troll  - (03:54)
06./A6. Arrival at Revival Beach  -  (01:32)

07./B1.  The River (Never Freezes Anymore)  - (03:16)
08./B2  The Babysitter  - (03:48)
09./B3  Mr. Sensible    - (02:19)
10./B4.  Survival at Revival Beach  - (02:22)
11./B5.   Minor Changes   - (02:37)
12./B6.  The Last Night  - (02:48)
13./B7.   Supermoon  - (03:28)

All songs written by Mathias Kom,
Performed by Darren Browne, Mathias Kom, and Ariel Sharratt, with special guests Claire Dugué (hurdy gurdy), Mike “Cowbell” Collins (cowbell), and Al Harle (tape delays, solina)

Recorded and mixed by Al Harle at Big Jelly Studios in Ramsgate UK, June 2017. Produced by Al Harle and The Burning Hell. Mastered by John Winfield.

Cover painting “Revival Beach” by Shary Boyle.
Layout and design by Ariel Sharratt.
 

©+(p) 2017 BB*ISLAND, under exclusive license from The Burning Hell/Mathias Kom