Burning Alms’ hail from Birmingham, UK – their sound recalls the catchy noise-pop of Hot Snakes, Glenn Branca, Swans and Sun Kil Moon. On debut album ‘In Sequence’ (from which this track is lifted) this pop sensibility rubs shoulders with yearning acoustic ballads and droning, avant-garde instrumental experimentation.
John Biggs (Guitar/Vocals) and Tom Whitfield (Drums) share a long history in a variety of musical guises. Their writing partnership began more than a decade ago with the sinewy singalongs of the much loved quartet Distophia. This morphed into the more rock-oriented trio Calories (Tough Love Records) and since 2012 as a duo in Burning Alms. Losing a band member with each incarnation could be viewed as a malevolent state of affairs (just what are they doing with the bodies?) but in the case of Burning Alms, their music benefits from the directness a limited setup provides.
Mid-Storm / Still Ending is the first single taken from debut album, In Sequence. The track is based on a poetic vignette from Jean Toomers’ modernist novel Cane. Inspired by classic American literature, existentialism and the “…creeping, inevitable demise of our fragile environment.” The song weaves a compelling narrative which disturbs and exhilarates in equal parts.
John explains further “This song is the first of a set of four tracks purposely grouped together on the album. Mid-Storm / Still Ending / Night Climates / The Pastoral / Forest Clearing. In this set of songs, there are contrasting musical emotions, improvisational elements and lyrical repetition. In short, pretentious shizzel!. This claustrophobic, multicoloured vision is echoed in the promo clip that accompanies the single.
Burning Alms then: ex-band member eaters and pretentious literary types to boot. The scene welcomes you back with open arms!
In Sequence is available on Limited Transparent Vinyl LP and Digital Formats from August 4th.
21st June – Birmingham & Beyond Festival
26th June – L’Espace B, Paris, France
1st August – Hare & Hounds – Kings Heath, Birmingham (with Virals)
7th August – Camden Black Heart, London
9th August – Telford All Dayer
23rd August – Water Rats, London
30th August – Custard Factory, Birmingham
Album Review: Bad Sleep by Bad Sleep
Album Review: -aire by The End Of The Ocean
Album Review: Oh Dearism by itoldyouiwouldeatyou
Album Review: Husk by Goldblume
Album Review: Bought to Rot by Laura Jane Grace and the Devouring Mothers
Album Review: Holy Hell by Architects
Album Review: A Patient Man by Cult Leader
Album Review: Blackout Cowboy by Sunshine Frisbee Laserbeam
Album Review: Exist by OHHMS
Album Review: Cheer by Drug Church