There’s been a lot of sex in the music industry recently, mostly of the bubblegum/shameless variety. A suggestive pose here, a boob there, a sodden vest thrown in to spice things up. But what about old-school, sensual charm? Whatever happened to a walk being enough to set the wolves howling?
Burning Condors clearly got the memo, and decided to act on it. As a precursor to their upcoming Nashville-recorded release, Round Our Way, Knockout/Riot In The Streets is a wide-reaching indicator of things to come. The two songs are complimentary in their difference, and it is good to see a band that could have so easily fallen prey to cliche stepping out confidently from beneath its burly wings.
Knockout is 150% old-school hot. Slinky to the point of slithering out of the speakers, it sounds like it wears an A-line skirt while drinking cocktails in classy, last-chance bars. Singer Tommy’s outrageous vocals(which remind me of the weasel in the straitjacket from Roger Rabbit) are barely contained, and against the pared down instrumentation, relate this story of lasciviousness and extra-curricular coitus with flair and expertise. Excellent.
Curiously highlighted as being written a month prior to the London riots – hardly something one can imagine anyone would want to be associated with – second song Riot In The Streets is a rollicking, garage rock number. The uncomfortable juxtaposition of these two styles is a good litmus test for prospective fans; after all, if you can handle a band leaping so suddenly from one style to another, you can handle all points in between.
Burning Condors sound at ease with their musical charges, and live evidence would appear to back this up. This is well produced – I particularly like the vintage mic breakup – and well studied, as Knockout‘s style is difficult to achieve. My only complaint would be that, after the borderline sexual catatonia of the first track, the second track was so different that it took a few listens to transition. This is arbitrary in a sense, as the material would ordinarily be in the context of an album, but it highlights the band’s genre-hopping abilities to a greater degree.
I could listen to Knockout all day-the vocals give it an unpredictable, dangerous edge, even on repeated listens, and serve their framework aptly. The album should therefore be quite the experience, but should the band wish to continue down the loose bowtie route, they’ll certainly find a fan in these parts.