Burning Flag are a new band from Halifax in West Yorkshire and I had heard their name around because they were playing some gigs with bands i know but i also heard them described as "Hardcore" which put me off listening to them, however on Wednesday this week (it's now only Friday morning) Matt Auralskit said Burning Flag are really good y'know and sent me a link to a stream of one song so i thought why not?...... FUUUUUUCCCK I am so glad I did and I am gutted I slept on this as i believe they played over here in Merseyside last year and i had no idea!
So Burning Flag are a four piece band with a female singer and when I went to their Reverbnation page (find that HERE for info on upcoming gigs, news etc) They stated their influences as Unsane, Helmet, Killing Joke, Jesus Lizard and Entombed, after reading that i was sold! 5 bands that i love and not one of them is either crust or hardcore as i had thought. The bands mentioned are a pretty good indication whilst not an exact one of what they sound like as these guys play some really heavy music which whilst a nod to their influences is wholly original and completely their own.
So Burning Flag have recorded 3 tracks with the awesome Bri Doom at his 1 in 12 studio these are to be used for a forthcoming CDEP as far as I can gather So let's break it down, first up is "Still A Lie" which is the most uptempo of the 3 it has a solid D-beat type backing but that is where the relation to that style ends! There is some nice thick heavy guitar and bass here which has a real nice bottom end to it the guitars are reaching the heaviness of something like Entombed (one of their influences) top this with Ange's utterly venomous vocals and a great shouted chorus with backing vocals and it's one great tune that puts me in mind of Swedish metal/crust titans Misantropic (See my Post on them HERE ) , however it's on the next two songs where i feel Burning Flag really show their originality "Strong" is a great number with some brilliant little bass and guitar runs in the intro and chorus tempered by the verse which has some seriously heavy stop/start guitarwork that brings to mind Helmet when they were good (Think 1st album Helmet more than "Meantime" etc) and maybe just a slight touch of early Godflesh too however this is all wrapped up in a sound that is mean,dirty and nasty with those great vocals as well plus their sound is not as clinical, clipped and clean as the bands i compare them to and there's also some nice dischordant flourishes over the main riff near the end and a quite mournful melodic riff to take us out of the song! So last song "Portal" is in similar territory to "Strong" and starts with a nice bit of clean bass plucking however when the drums/guitar and vocals all kick in at once it's a total fucking avalanche and a great dynamic that is kept up all the way through the song the chorus has a really nice running riff that ups the intensity whilst adding a break from the sheer weight of the track, this is also tempered by some great little breaks where the bass plucking returns with some nice almost punk-esque riffing over it dragging you back in to the bottom end and a great chanting verse for the end when the song collapses and leaves you wondering what the fuck just happened!
I would not normally go into such depth with a new bands first recording as it feels more like a taster or a bit of a teaser as after playing it, when it ends i just have to keep going back to the beginning again! However I am genuinely excited to discover a new underground band who are actually bringing something fresh and fairly original to the table rather than just taking influence from the same bands as everyone else these guys have taken their influences from places you wouldn't expect for music as crushing as this is and they sound all the better for it.
Here's an link to a bandcamp download of their forthcoming EP it was on here free for 6 weeks in advance of this so if you snoozed on that sorry but i decided these guys are deserving of the mere £1.50 for their hard work and for 3 amazing tracks Go check out this great EP and I'm sure you like me will be totally dying for more of their music as soon as you've heard it! Go get it now you think I'd do such a big post for a 1st EP if they weren't 100% deserving of your attention?? DAMN I can't wait for an album!
Burning Flag EP - Bandcamp