Burlap is made up of members who’ve been around the block in a few other Sydney bands – vocalist Tom ‘Silky’ McEwen, guitarists Max Edgar and Nathan Martin and drummer Tom Houlahan – and their debut album Burnout King runs rings around the herd of copyists in their chosen field of noise rock.
With Burnout King, Burlap have created a record that sounds like a disgruntled and deranged teenager teetering on the verge of going postal. It’s actually menacing to listen to at times, the way the best hard rock or hardcore should be.
Grinding, degenerate swamp-punk squirms around in the cracks between genres. Sing-along punk stompers slip into weirdo backcountry grooves, straight up hardcore grinds & twitchy, tweaked-out riffs.
For fans of Jesus Lizard, Killdozer and Oxbow.
This album gurns and churns with the dense, atmospheric power of an angel wrestling the forces of hell.
Wolfe's voice is an ethereal swirl, but it can cut like a blade. Her guitar, meanwhile, is a reaper's scythe, and with it, she flails like a Balrog summoned deep and raging from the bowels of Middle Earth.
It's an album of dreams and nightmares, a sludge-gaze torrent of painful questions hurled into the void.
A brave, bold and empowering listen. Michael Mueller