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Straight out of Montreal, screams Barn Burner with their own special blend of high energy stoner rock that is sure to keep you driving fast and partying hard this summer. Their debut album Bangers, released on Metal Blade Records, dropped in mid-February, however has just caught it's second wind with me now that weather is getting warm and sunny. With my research, I kept running into references to Black Sabbath with this release, though I really don't see too many similarities here besides the heavy emphasis that these Canadians place on the riff almighty and the occasional distorted fuzz that accompanies several of the guitar lines throughout. Instead, I find much more common ground between Barn Burner and other stoner rock bands including Fu Manchu, Queens of the Stone Age, Sasquatch, and Sheavy, with influences including Iron Maiden and Thin Lizzy replacing the Sabbath and Blue Cheer in the mix. Their sound is gives things a more alternative rock spin than most in this subgenre, with the "stoner" label being much more implied than in most cases. But don't worry, this album is full of beer drinking, bong smoking, bag of Doritos passing, and rowdy nights of high fives amongst you and your buds. What comes through this thick haze is a great rock and roll band whose aggressive sound could be welcomed in the classic rock, alternative, and stoner metal camps with high praise.
One of the strongest assets working in their favor, is the simple fact that Barn Burner do not take themselves too seriously. They are who they are and make no excuses one way or another. With song titles such as "Fast Women", "Beer Today Bong Tomorrow", and "Half Past Haggard" there is absolutely no doubt as to what these gents are all about and what kind of album this is. The guitar work is quite strong, with dual lead lines that complement each other throughout and serve as the true driving force of the album, propelling each song with hooks and riffs that draw from both the Thrash and NWOBHM pools of influence. Several songs are a bit too similar to one another, thus giving the album a few moments of redundancy at certain points. However, Bangers is a great first impression for a new band to make. Everything is tight and can hold it's own in the highly homogenized stoner rock/metal genre, giving things a fresh dose of fast paced adrenaline to the mix.
Now that the warmth has graced us with its presence, there should be no excuse to crank things up, put the pedal to the metal, and be ready to throw down at the drop of a hat. I would almost bet you anything that the boys in Barn Burner will be doing the same day in and day out. Bangers is sure to keep the blood pumping and the party going to the break of dawn. Cheers! -Andrew Bryant