Do you know the saying “If you give a mouse a cookie“? If not it goes something like this, “If you give a mouse a cookie he’s going to want a glass of milk. When you give him the milk he’ll probably ask you for a straw. When he’s finished, he’ll ask for a napkin…” and on and on until basically this entitled mouse just demands the fucking world and you have to just roll with it.
What the hell does this have to do with album Born to Burn? Nothing… and everything. A few weeks back I went to Vans Warped Tour and got to interview a handful of bands (The Relapse Symphony included) and take pictures and generally feel like a total bad-ass. But that blogging high point wasn’t enough for me. Hell no. Now I want to review albums and go to shows and maybe even start a YouTube channel interviewing musicians and tattoo artists and everyone I think is cool. I am that mouse and I want more.
You know what else I want more of? The Relapse Symphony. Their new release Born to Burn is a driving, thumping, musical ride worth taking. This is TRS second full album release. Their first album Shadows had several strong singles including the catchy Savage Eyes (with accompanying video showing lead singer Bret Von Dehl displaying admirable swagger and sex appeal) but showcased several different styles and genres and had lighter vocals and more pop hooks.
Born to Burn shows The Relapse Symphony coming into their own and finding their particular niche. And that niche is a heavy, thumping place.
The intro Beginnings is akin to a musical resume that announces that TRS are much more than a bunch of screamers. They can actually play their instruments and they play them well…really well. With musicality, sweeping crescendos and technical skill on display I found myself wishing Beginnings wasn’t so short.
Right on the heals of this ditty (bet I’m first reviewer of TRS to use that adjective!) is A Perfect Lie – with a driving lead guitar, heavy thumping bass and rougher, more raw vocals it pulls you in with “fuck off” lyrics and an incredibly catchy hook. Round it out with some nice little screaming bits and you have a perfect head banging thrill.
Lyrically TRS aren’t pulling punches. They are getting a brisk, edgy, angry message across in a way that grabs the listener and pulls them in. I love angry fuck you music. I loved Rage Against the Machine and White Zombie back in the day – never mind that I am basically a pajama wearing stay at home mom (albeit covered in tattoos) – there is still that part of my soul that loves…fucking LOVES loud, thrashy music and always has.
The Relapse Symphony delivers a satisfying dose throughout Born to Burn. Another favorite is Dirty little Tricks – heavy bass and a wall of sound that gets inside and just…reverberates. And the guitar solo? Oh man – I was totally impressed. I had the chance to meet JC and Bret and they were so nice and sweet
(sorry to bust your cred guys…but you were) – I wanted to make them both sandwiches and lemonade. But hearing them play? It’s like they are possessed with the skill and depth of musicians twice their age. When did they start playing? When they were 2?!
Terror Generation puts the pissed off feelings of Generation Whatever (seriously – I don’t know what letter we are on anymore) front and center and shows the band has more to sing about then girls…thankfully. Although judging on some of the lyrics young ladies be warned – don’t do a savage burn on these guys because they will take you down in their lyrics.
Goodnight, Goodbye brings a heavy message of regret and reflection with intense vocals, a sing along chorus and a surprisingly tender and musical breakdown. Don’t just lose yourself in the screaming and guitars – listen to the lyrics as well.
I have Born to Burn on in the background while I’m writing and I keep jumping up to check the track name every time a new song comes on and I’m like “Oh yeah I love this one too!” – right now it’s Down in Flames and the drums in the background are making my kitchen cabinets shake and the chickens in my yard have gone into hiding – better dead than mellow!
I love listening to this record. I’m going to strap on an apron later and bake cookies to this because I want cookies AND milk AND more Relapse Symphony. Their shit ROCKS!
Considering that this is only their second full album it’s safe to assume The Relapse Symphony are only going to get better from here and we can look forward to many more releases. They have youth, enthusiasm and talent on their side and I can see them defining them selves more clearly with every new release.
Incidentally I saw them perform at Warped and their stage show is insane. Spines so limber! Guitars so thrashy! I like my rock and roll to have an edge and feel like the people on stage are bleeding to bring it and The Relapse Symphony delivers that heady mixture in a major way. I will definitely try to catch them live this year when they tour. Hear that guys? I’ll bring the sandwiches and lemonade…I promise.
Now I am no musical expert or even a music critic. I only cover stuff in my blog that I personally think is awesome because…hey, it’s my blog! So I didn’t throw in any major critical take downs because quite frankly if I didn’t really like this album I wouldn’t have reviewed it. If you want more “professionall-y” reveiws you can read this and this.
And check out their latest videos
And if your over 45 and think you are “too old” to listen to this stuff check yourself before you wreck yourself – sometimes the ONLY music that fits the bill is something screamy, catchy and thrashy.