BURN HILLS ‘LIVE AT THE LOW BEAT’ LP (ROWF 55)
by Golden Lab Records
EDITION OF 250 COPIES ONLY
140g vinyl in super heavyweight casebound jackets with black paper inners
Cover art by Dylan Hughes (Desmadrados Soldados De Ventura)
£15.99 + shipping (£4 UK, £6 Europe, £9 US/Canada, £12 r.o.w.)
Payable by PayPal to firstname.lastname@example.org
‘Hey daddy-o, I don’t wanna go down to the basement,’ spat some lanky bespectacled dope once a long time ago. Trust Burnt Hills to wait until he was long enough dead to afford the opportunity to not have to. Holed-up at the Helderberg House in Albany, NY, these cuddly middle-aged monsters of tuff, levitational, psychedelic thug punk swirliness have made an avant-rock legend of their agoraphobia. They played out a few times over the years – Bard College, NY; Weirdo Records, MA; Ron Schneiderman’s Festival Of Endless Gratitude back during the heyday of that ‘New Weird America’ boom; the legendary Elevens show in Northampton, MA – but their collective heart has remained between four breeze-blocked walls, surrounded by the washing machine, some DIY tools, a wall of 4×12 cabs loud enough to be heard four streets away and an occasional Monday night party crowd, every member of which knows how utterly blessed s/he is to be there witnessing this glorious band take flight. When the party’s not there, the band still is – pretty much every Monday for the past 10+ years now – doing it purely for its own reward. Real goose bump shit. Golden Lab feels no smugness in having witnessed this thing in action seven times now (and sat in on one unforgettable occasion). Rather a sense of longing that the rest of the right thinking world could be afforded the same opportunity. But then, isn’t it the inaccessibility that makes it so special?
Live At The Low Beat does much to disprove that theory. The show presented on this LP, recorded to digital handheld recorder and mastered in Manchester, UK by Dom Tanner, took place at a local eatery regularly frequented by the band (the restaurant boasts bottles of BH founder Jackson Wingate’s homemade ‘Flipped Out Records Habanero Death Sauce’ on its tables) on December 4th 2014. It was the first of what, it has been decided, will be an annual Burnt Hills performance outside the basement. At time of writing, the second event is about to occur and your humble narrator is somewhat down-beaten to be sitting here in drab central Manchester instead of on a flight to Albany to witness the rare spectacle of Burnt Hills on an actual sound stage. All ten members of the band were in attendance on this night and it’s safe to assume that they were all pretty well smoked, fed and oiled by the time they took to the stage as it doesn’t take long for shit to really fly. Close to 50 minutes in total, this is the most savage, raging, oblivion-bound Burnt Hills set yet committed to wax. There’s a whole bucketload of sensitive noodling amidst the chaos – along with the obligatory shred – but it’s, of course, the six-guitar pile-up that really takes this crescendo-obsessed troupe of suburban weirdos into the ‘Lord take me now!’ zone. As with the prior two Burnt Hills releases on Golden Lab, we feel blessed to be the label putting this out into the world. In an edition of just 250 copies with stunning psychedelic splurge art by Desmadrados Soldados De Ventura guitarist Dylan Hughes, this is gonna fly far and fast. Grip one while ya can.