The Burning Hell

The Burning Hell


I’m at Gullivers tonight to watch Canadian band The Burning Hell, hot off the release of their latest album, The Public Library. This is the 7th album and possibly their best work yet. I’m in a vibrant mood waiting for the showcasing of as many a variety of tracks as they can manage in the next few hours. My only gripe is at the start of the set during the opening song, the vocal levels were a little bit low, which is a disappointment for a band who revolves around their vivid storytelling and verbose lyrics. The balance is soon fixed though and the sounds are great for the rest of the evening.

The band is the child of vocalist and guitarist Mathias Korn. Although the band has changed numerous times over the years he is joined by current regulars Ariel Sharratt on clarinet and saxophone (also on general chipper and groovy dancing), Darren Browne on guitar, Nick Ferrio on bass and Brandon Munroe on drums. I may not have seen previous iterations of the band, but I think I must have caught the epitome here as the band are amazing together, upbeat, lively and ever so happy.

With a musically diverse back catalogue that they pick and mix from through the evening it’s hard to pin down a good description of the band. They have the vocal stylings of Lou Reed with the bouncy fun of Wheezer, the soul of Willy Mason with the wit of Oscar Wilde; it all seems to fit. A lot of the songs are simple in structure, allowing for everyone in the crowd to bob and dance, but so novel and clever without ever coming across as egotistical, the songs sound natural from Mathias. My head never stops bobbing whether it’s from feeling the rhythm or from acknowledgment and satisfaction at each reference I pick out of the quick fire lyrics, from literature to music albums of old. They bring back songs from the catalogue such as the epic spanning ‘Barbarians,’ and ‘Grown-ups’ but my favourites have to be every song from the latest album. Each song has an interesting literary theme, like the murder mystery, coming of age story and the biography. They are all intriguing.

It was a great evening and I don’t think I’ve smiled so much at a gig in a long time after singing to the romantic comedy ‘Fuck the Government, I Love You,’ with the true lyric “Isn’t it Fun to Shout.” To finish, plagiarising another one of their lyrics, “I’d Like To Thank Them For Giving Us So Many Good Reasons To Dance,” as I don’t think I can say anything better than the words of The Burning Hell.

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