Review by Sophie Maughan
Released: 28 July 2014
Brum’s favourite Alt-Electro rockers This Burning Age are back with the second in a series of four EP’s and Devotion is a delectable fusion of musical styles sure to titillate the listener. Following on from critically acclaimed debut Supplication, this three song offering is a “meditation and homage to broken and twisted love” which draws inspiration from art-rock through the ages as well as the poetic nature of lyric writing.
Opening track ‘There Is No Hope Except For That Which You Give Me’ packs plenty of sonic punch with those amazingly catchy vocal refrains courtesy of frontman Friday and the effective use of layered instrumentation – all of which bring the song to a rousing end. You can practically taste the underlying aggression permeating from this one, – those relentless drum snares will get right under your skin and that chorus will be lodged in your skull for hours to come.
I absolutely adore the melancholia of ‘Hollow’ and those beautifully muted piano keys during the intro immediately send the hairs on the back of my neck into orbit. It might be a more sombre affair compared to the ‘Age’s past material, but it also showcases the band’s ability to create a real sense of atmosphere with the use of eerie electronica. You can also hear the musical influences beginning to creep in with lilting and jarring synths that wouldn’t be out of place on a Kraftwerk record, and vocal arrangements reminiscent of Brian Molko (circa 08’s Without You I’m Nothing) with just a dash of Ian Curtis’ reticence thrown in for good measure. There are plenty of “feels” to be had with this one and it is a definite contender for the EP’s standout track.
The calm respite is short-lived as TBA get back to the rawk with closer ‘Nothing’ which injects some energy back into proceedings. There is dirty, rumbling bass and some equally meaty riffage that Josh Homme would be proud of whilst Friday’s barked rasps of “You break / You fall / You stumble / You crawl / You bring the nothing in!” are nothing short of contagious – brace yourself for a serious sing-along from 3:20 onwards. I am warbling along in record time and I don’t even realise it. And that is always a good sign as far as I am concerned.
All highs and no lows, all killer no filler – Devotion is a fantastic follow-up which demonstrates the aural finesse lacking on Supplication (reviewed here). Be sure to check out the forthcoming video for ‘Hollow’ too which, judging by this band’s alluring album artwork, is bound to be a visual feast of sorts. Impressive stuff.
8.5 out of 10
- There Is No Hope Except For That Which You Give Me