Charcoal Burners described their new single “Time’s Informers” as “an unlikely marriage of Hüsker Dü and Pet Shop Boys.” Fair enough considering the mix of distorted pop hooks and acerbic wit is actually like a latter day, more slackery “Could You Be The One.” But at times it also oddly reminds one of “Living After Midnight” by Judas Priest in its changes and dynamics. All this combines to make for a song that touches upon familiar places in your brain. But overall its sweet synth sheen and back beat-driven rhythm and introspective yet pointed lyrics delivered in laid back, almost disengaged, fashion give the single fascinating contrasts that add another dynamic dimension to the song but one more emotional than purely sonic. For a band that has a single called “The Verlaines and Hüsker Dü” name-checking its most obvious influences, this song isn’t as crackling with inspired cheek but it is informed by a similarly wonderful sardonic humor. Listen to “Time’s Informers” on Bandcamp and follow New Zeland’s Charcoal Burners at the links provided.
Fans of Ride and Bailter Space are going to feel an immediate affinity for Charcoal Burners’ new single “Winged Bird.” The mixture of melody, channeled atmosphere and dissonance and the elastic quality of the main guitar riff give the song a similarly fuzzy and fluid dynamic that allows the vocals to comfortably float within a fiery cloud of guitar harmonics. In that way the band’s songwriting bears some comparison to Hüsker Dü balancing raw intensity and cutting noise with gorgeous melodies. Hailing from Dunedin, New Zealand, Charcoal Burners also bring to its songwriting that certain something that makes almost all music from New Zealand a little different than a similar form of music would take in say the United States or the UK. And also from other noteworthy music scenes in New Zealand like Christchurch, Wellington and Auckland. Though while it may be difficult to pin down how Charcoal Burners reflect what some might call the “Dunedin sound” (who wants to be pigeonholed in such ways, really?) except for maybe in some of the jangle-y guitar dynamics and the penchant for expert descending chord lines, Charcoal Burners do not eschew the tasty solo and that’s what makes this track and the band’s new album The Best Day You Could Imagine stand out. Listen to the single on YouTube and follow Charcoal Burners at the links below.