I recently sang the praises of San Francisco's Burmese's grinding, ugly Lun Yurn album on this blog, but the band's continually underrated status in spite of their near 14-year existence means the call is out for some further celebration (the band's Facebook page includes an exhaustive history of the band's various, ever-changing formations).
Burmese are a vicious, hideous band, in that there's nothing comforting or subtle about their attack. While the noise-rock tag has been thrown at any band with the slightest hint of fuzz or whatever constitutes "edge" these days, it's beyond refreshing to see an act in this sphere use sonic confrontation in the most repulsive way imaginable. The dual-drums/dual-bass onslaught is absurdly gargantuan, and now with the incomparable Tissue on vocals, the grindcore/power violence/death metal/power electronics monstrosity they've worked themselves into has seen no equal. Why aren't these guys bigger? Probably because there's no safety net here, just pure, vile antagonism, which, it should be said, is what one should demand from "noise rock" these days.
These are absolutely terrifying, insane times we're living in, and Burmese seems to sonically channel that turmoil fantastically. Don't believe me, check the live attack:
And look at that, even more....
I actually first came across Burmese via their 2004 Load Records album Men, a time when the band was etching a very different sort of misanthropy, often being referred to as punk band effortlessly channeling Whitehouse (the bleak subject matter of that band very much carried over, which could explain why many were put off). Below some live performance footage, and in the first video, a somewhat uncomfortable interview with the band extolling the virtues of hanging out in SF, fearing for their lives playing live, and...uhhhh....porn:
In exciting news, to noise junkies like me anyway, Ryan Jencks, he who is responsible for SIXES as well as membership in Deathroes and at one point Crash Worship, has joined the band on....guitar! Shit's going to get real. Bring these guys to NY, stat.