CrazyEightyEight’s Burning Alive Part 1, I Don’t Get It (But That’s Okay)

I may have listened to a decent amount of music for someone my age, or maybe I haven’t, I can’t be too sure. But what I am certain is that I have not seen nearly as many movies as someone my age probably would have, and this album was really telling of that.

If you can’t tell by the name of the band itself, well, maybe you’re in the same boat as me, but what I’m getting at is that this band loves their movie references. In fact, every track on this album is a reference to a specific movie. Unfortunately the only two movies referenced that I have seen I hardly remember. I bring this up to say that lyrical content won’t be much at all a focus of this review as I just…kinda don’t get any of it.

That out of the way, let’s start talking about the songs themselves. The album opens with an interview with Alfred Hitchcock, followed heavy instrumentation and an angrily growled “SILENCE!” The above describes the first track “Reboot.” This track transitions directly into the second: “Fortune and Glory, Kid.” First my compliments go to the bassist, Patty Walters, who comes out of nowhere quite often to surprise me with some pretty solid playing. “Fortune and Glory, Kid” definitely sets the tone of the album as singer Lauren Babic switches seemingly effortlessly between melodic singing and harsh growling, screaming, and screeching. While these opening tracks might not be my favorites, they definitely do a good job of letting the listener know what they’re getting into and are still pretty solid tracks.

“Shinebox” continues the same style. It bears mentioning that the music has the same ability Babic does, in that in can shift from a brutal high energy to low, mysterious and ethereal sound. It’s what I believe this band does absolute best: their ability to switch between moods and feel natural. “Shinebox” as a song itself is a direct improvement on the formula from “Fortune and Glory, Kid” with a highly memorable chorus to boot.

“I Am Tetsuo” is a bit of a softer track, though not too dramatically. The chorus on this one sounds cheesy, not in a bad way, just in a very amusing way. Another compliment to throw out that’s displayed really well in this song is that this band is fantastic at dramatic build ups as well as sick sounding breakdowns which they often combine together to high effect.

“Bastard from a Basket” immediately is a lot heavier than the last track. Unfortunately I don’t have much to say about this track other than it might be the least interesting. That’s not to say it’s bad at all, it’s just a bit plain after the last few tracks. “The Shimmer” is a short noisy interlude I could do with or without. I suppose it’s meant to be a breather before the incredibly heavy “Nitroglycerin.”

Speaking of, “Nitroglycerin” is next and oh boy is it fast and heavy. We’re reaching Thrash territory here, which I’m all for. This song also may have the coolest slow ethereal section of the entire album, as it quickly backs it with the fast aggressive instrumentals found elsewhere throughout the song, takes a break for a heavy breakdown, then combines all of the above together for what may be one of my favorite parts of this album. Another unfortunate matter is that the next song, “Tears in Rain,” doesn’t keep the energy up well. It’s another one of those tracks that’s unfortunately a tad bit forgettable. But hey, I’ll go ahead and say it’s the last of its kind on the album.

Unfortunately, that’s about all I can really cover for today as I have so much to say about the rest of the album that it could easily be its own post and this one has already gotten pretty long. So, for the first time in a while, this album review will be a two parter, though I’m sure you’ve already put that together by the title of the post.

See you all in next week to wrap up my thoughts on CrazyEightyEight’s Burning Alive and, as always, thank you for reading.

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