It would be dismissive to say that Burnt Ones’ stuff works better in single form, which demands less concentration from the listener and less variation from the band. So I won’t quite say that, but I will say that only a few tunes on the record match the three-minute, chorus-centric perfect imperfection of “Gonna Listen to T. Rex,” a track from Burnt Ones’ debut EP that made its way to this full-length.
But there’s a lot of fun to be had nonetheless: “Famous Shakes” directly acknowledges the novelty rock that inspires the band by listing off dance fads against a typically reverberant, thudding soundscape of fuzzy guitar, super-repetitive tom and unobtrusive bass (“This song is for the kids that did the Do-Run-Run when then coulda done The Twist,” and replace those with the Mashed Potato and The Alligator next time around). “Only Ones” offers a nice contrast to the rest of the record, with its more thoughtful, Orbison-esque lyrics (“Only the lonely ones could talk to you like they do”) and its 6/8 slow dance structure with double-time chorus. And the more psyched-out tunes (“Bury Me in Smoke,” “Burnt to Lose,” “Kaleidoscope Eyes”) all hit their mark, with colorful imagery and sharper guitar on “Kaleidoscope” picking up the record towards the middle, and wind-like synth sounds on “Burnt” making an already kinda creepy record — zombie rock remains a nice appellation for the band — just a bit more uncanny.
Still, it’s up to the listener to decide whether Burnt Ones are closer to The Ramones or Sha Na Na; I’m compelled by what they’re up to, but more full-fledged contributions from drums and bass will make this seem more than an anachronistic one-man show.
The release show for "Black Teeth & Golden Tongues" is Saturday night (July 10) at the Vollrath Tavern, 118 Palmer St., with supporting acts Vacation Club and Holy Ghost Canyon. Show at 10 p.m. with an $8 cover including a copy of the CD and a $10 cover including a vinyl copy.
And we've got three tracks from the record (via Roaring Colonel) for audition:
"Gonna Listen to T. Rex":
"Bury Me In Smoke":
"Bring You All My Love":