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Black Strobe - Burn Your Own Church

Black Strobe, Burn Your Own Church

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 2 out of 5

HAVING successfully released their Remix Selection last year to widespread critical acclaim (featuring 10 of the band’s favourite remixes), Black Strobe return with their first full length album in the form of Burn Your Own Church.

Recorded in London during the second half of 2006 with Paul Epworth (Bloc Party, The Rapture) on production duties and Alan Moulder (Nine Inch Nails) mixing the record, Burn Your Own Church showcases the band’s ability to fuse the world’s of dance and rock – sometimes successfully, mostly not.

The album embraces the band’s new found creative freedom to explore the world outside the natural constraints of dance music and certainly deserves credit for bringing something different to the genre. But some of its references are very, very heavy and its name alone seems designed to reflect the church burning craze of certain Norwegian black metal bands, who were referenced in metal documentary, Metal: A Headbanger’s Journey.

Certainly, some of the grinding, pounding rock-dance tracks seem designed with hardcore metallers in mind. But the album, for me, works best when keeping things more mainstream, when references to better known bands such as Nine Inch Nails are more apparent.

Second track Shining Bright Star is a particularly fine effort, fusing electronica and menacing guitar riffs to telling effect. The Nine Inch Nails comparisons are sure to be drawn, as are those with most recent Marilyn Manson.

And opening track Breen Di Ega Kjerke works in spite of its name, dropping a snappy backbeat over some stirring guitar loops.

Unfortunately, too much of the rest of the album is industrial, heavy and very, very dark. Tracks have a habit of careering into each other without registering one way or the other, to create an overall effect that’s actually quite dispiriting come the end of the journey.

It’s a shame given the potential offered by the opening two tracks…

Download picks: Breen Di Ega Kjerke, Shining Bright Star

Track listing:

  1. Brenn Di Ega Kjerke
  2. Shining Bright Star
  3. Girl Next Door
  4. Blood Shot Eyes
  5. Not What I Need
  6. I’m A Man
  7. Lady 13
  8. You Should Be
  9. Buzz Buzz Buzz
  10. Last Club On Earth
  11. Crave For Speed