THE BURNS UNIT – Side Show (Own Label TBU 001)

Bitter recrimination is the order of the day particularly on the opening track “Since We’ve Fallen Out” on this, The Burns Unit’s (Emma Pollock, Future Pilot A.K.A and MC Soom T [What’s that all about???], Karine Polwart, Kim Edgar, King Creosote, Mattie Foulds and Michael Johnston) debut recording. The lyrics expunge in such a mean and spiteful way so as the listener is left in no doubt that there is no room for reconciliation and definitely no turning back. For those that have experienced this feeling before, the rawness is conveyed by a splendid arrangement full of angst in a gut-wrenching performance clearly stating its case and without doubt a real cry from the heart. The 70’s/80’s subtle techno-rock (as used here) played a lot in my formative music career and on the keyboard generated riff infused “Trouble” I’m pleased to hear it still has a place in this ‘modern’ world of ours. Even isolation has its ‘ups’ when it’s buoyed by a pleasant melody and an upbeat presentation I just wish we’d hear more of it, like this, generated to the mass market and perhaps, just perhaps we might get some sanity back in our impoverished lives? OK, so this might not be quite ‘folk’ as we know it but at least in it’s hippy-ish kind of way it’s an antidote to some of the more earnest straight thinking ‘folk’ arrangements that are seriously in danger of becoming stereotypical and by the sound of them I would imagine The Burns Unit should be a good ‘live’ act.

PETE FYFE

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Artist Website: http://www.theburnsunitband.com/