Burn The Fleet

The Modern Shape

Written by: TL on 17/05/2012 17:42:32

Ever since catching British quartet Burn The Fleet while supporting for Bury Tomorrow some two years ago, we've been considering them a band to watch out for, as they grinded through more shows, released a debut EP and slowly but steadily built momentum to the point when they can now boast an LP release. "The Modern Shape" came out on February 6th and on it the Southampton natives offer the so far most potent manifestation of their music; That means it offers 9 tracks of the band's mostly mid-tempo bastard of admitted influences Alexisonfire and Thrice (the band is named after a Thrice song after all), going simultaneously for the power and grandeur of progressive rock, while foregoing the genre's long-windedness in favour of post-hardcore's abrasive riffs and frequently dynamic shifts in mood and rhythm.

In their music Burn The Fleet do two things well, and have done them well for as far as I've known about them: 1) They write catchy refrains that almost instantly prompts the listener to sing or shout along with singer/bassist Andrew Convey's Dustin Kensrue/Dallas Green impersonation and 2) they pack one smashing punch when their compositions climax and all instruments crash loudly into each other with maximum intensity. Take songs like "The Greatest Fire", "Six Sisters" and "Irish Eyes" as fine examples of the former quality, while others like "Black Holes", "Cenataph" and "Suits" have moments that give you your money's worth of aggression as well.

Still, while Burn The Fleet do well when flexing their muscles, and while they have enough instrumental fills and flourishes to keep most interested, I'm still reluctant to say that "The Modern Shape" sees them realise their maximum capacity. Despite a relatively crisp mix, this is not a 'rich' record, and you can hear that the band has still been restricted by a more narrow selection of effects and instruments than what you'll be used to hearing on a big production. Furthermore, the guys still sound a little young and impatient during their quieter, supposedly more soulful parts, and both Convey and his bandmates sound more comfortable singing in the shoutier, more chest-beating parts, compared to the ones where they try to establish a thoughtful atmosphere. It's here that it's easiest to hear that these guys still have some steps between them and the best works of their most obvious inspirations.

These are unfortunate drawbacks, because they make compositions that are not one-dimensional sound like they are, so that you can get the feeling that "The Modern Shape" is an album you listen to often waiting for the bits to come around that you can belt along to. Okay so the album does still offer quite a few of such parts, more of which reveal themselves with each listen, but I still feel like the progressions that lead up to them could have been more engaging to the listener than this production allows them to be. There's a wealth of good things to listen to in the band's soundscape almost all the time, and yet you don't get that priceless feeling of those things coming at you from all sides, faster and more forcefully than you can keep up with them. That being said, this is the first LP these lads have ever made, and the sheer strength of their good parts is enough to ensure that they leave more of a lasting impression that much of what passes through this site. So you should get this, especially if you enjoy any of Burn The Fleet's influences, just be aware that if these guys get a surge, odds are they'll be able to produce bigger and better things later on.

Download: River Song, The Greatest Fire, Six Sisters, Irish Eyes
For The Fans Of: Thrice, Alexisonfire,
Listen: facebook.com/BurnTheFleet

Release Date 06.02.2012
Self-released (Available for free with a copy of May's issue of Rock Sound Magazine)

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