steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion

Triple Burner

"Let's Build a Fire" CD

Madrona Records

Genre: instrumental folk rock

C.P. 253
Succ. R
Montreal, QC
Canada H2S 3K9

May 2006

Having spent the past year in Montreal, I've gotten to discover a number of excellent new bands hitting the scene. One of the most intriguing is Triple Burner, a collaboration between instrumental folk stalwart Harris Newman and GY!BE member Bruce Cawdron. Their two recent shows in Montreal (live reviews of both are on Indieville) garnered a decent amount of buzz, and excitement for this new album - available in June - is pretty high.

Interested parties: you will not be let down. This well-recorded, beautifully packaged album is filled to the brim with rolling, engaging instrumental folk. It takes the fingerpicking folk style of Newman (whose work is predictably very influenced by that oft-mentioned wonder John Fahey) and crosses it with a more rock-based approach somewhat in line with Pell Mell. After a minute of ambience entitled "Kelvin Says," this disc kicks right into gear with "The Wherewithal," a duo for guitar and bowed glockenspiel that features some truly full-bodied guitar plucking. Excellent melodic themes throughout prevent the track from ever approaching tedium. "Roundabout" brings percussion into the mix, which is where Triple Burner finds its true groove - the rhythmic drums and textured cymbals add momentum to Newman's flawless guitarwork. This theme continues throughout, reaching a pinnacle with "The Pulse of Parc Ex," a fourteen minute epic built on a gradually evolving guitar melody. Such a long composition would seem vulnerable to becoming boring, but such is never the case here - the tension and the rises and falls in the music are consistently enjoyable, producing a dreamy atmosphere like nothing else. The closing track ends somewhat strangely - just a fadeout from a repeating guitar part - but such is the nature of such a loosely flowing (yet still cohesive) record. Triple Burner have put together a fine record here; I dare say this is among the finest GY!BE offshoot projects, though the Godspeed connection is made practically trivial by the album's uniqueness. Highly recommended.

MP3 (from Bride of Bad Attitude


Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 9 tracks, distributed by the label, released 2006]