Friday, December 10, 2010

Burning Ghats--Demo & Fool's Gold

It wasn't too long ago that I was hanging around my apartment, idly playing my guitar while my wife was playing video games.  I was pretty heavy into writing songs for my half-defunct band at this point, so I was pretty relentless and loud about whatever tasty lick I had conjured at any given time.  Wife was trying to enjoy Assassin's Creed II, but my in-your-face style of aimless wanking was preventing her from properly enjoying murdering Italian aristocrats, dignitaries, and clergymen, so she banished me to the bedroom where I would be less of a nuisance.  I had a long drive ahead of me the next day, and I decided I wanted something new to listen to; off to Bandcamp!

I listlessly trolled the Bandcamp archives for the coolest/most ridiculous band names and album titles, giving each one that caught my fancy a fair listen.  There is a lot of really crappy stuff on Bandcamp; bands like Richardson Richardson abound and vie for your attention with their outrageously bad band names and album art.  However, I found several oddball gems that night, the most notable (in my mind) being Vancouver's own Burning Ghats.

I have no idea what the name "Burning Ghats" is supposed to signify.  It seems possible that it's some manner of Candian slang term that doesn't translate to the United States, like calling a hat a "took."  I started streaming their demo at that point and I really enjoyed their crusty approach to metallic hardcore; I remember thinking of Converge when I was listening to the first track (at that point having my D-boner pointed firmly at Converge at all times).  The demo rocks through three tracks with the fury of a wild boar after slamming 60cc's of HGH directly into its eyeball, and the fact that it's free to download (no stealing?  Booooor-iiiiing) makes it all the sweeter.

I revisited the Burning Ghats Bandcamp page to try and dig up some information on them several months later, and found that they had released some new music in the form of Fool's Gold, an EP that extends their collected discography to seven songs.  Fool's Gold continues Burning Ghats' quest for crunch, but makes some strange missteps in the process.  It would seem that they may have changed vokillists over the course of the months that I didn't pay attention, replacing their original guy for the above mentioned boar.  After some research, it would seem that the original vokillist just somehow became...bad, which is truly unfortunate.  The resulting vocal performance sounds as wet as a seafood enchilada fart and as loose as the subsequent bowel movement.  Tragically far less consistent than previous efforts, and like so many bands before them, the singer smears the music with an uneven and dicey performance, which detracts a great deal from The Heavy. 

Since I am potentially the only man in all of Texas who has heard these guys (which was initally a point of pride for me), I want to attribute it to a poor mixing job; the vocals are less a part of the song and come across as the focal point that the band really should be.  They float conspicuously across the top of the music like a toxic film on clear, inviting waters, or the proverbial Baby Ruth in the swimming pool.  Usurping the role from the guitar players, who write some totally righteous riffs, seems like a misstep akin to accidentally leaving a baby in the oven or firing a shotgun into a Veteran's Day parade having mistaken it for a congregation of the walking undead.

Burning Ghats are a pretty good band at times, and I hope they do something about the vocal style from Fool's Gold.  The fact that I was so heavily impressed with their demo effort makes me want to like their second effort a lot more than I reasonably can.

If you want to listen, go to their Bandcamp page and observe.  Downloads are free, so live it up without having to steal something for once.

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