Review Archive

‘My First Mistake’ from Burnt Tomorrow - folk rock with a difference

(November 07, 2013)

Some bands arrive with a bang while others burn slow. Some are comfortable with a ‘me-too’ stance, others cut their own furrow. However and wherever bands emerge it still remains hard for fine bands toBurnt Tomorrowbreak through, even when those that know them cannot understand why the world doesn't beat a path to their door. For my money, Burnt Tomorrow deserve more attention and their debut album ‘My First Mistake’ warrants recognition. And slow burn or not, the folk world should turn its ears towards their home town of Reading and listen.

My constantly-stated fondness for folk is the breadth and depth of the genre. The way its malleable and ductile approach enables the tradition to rub shoulders (more or less comfortably) with different styles is inimitable. From the opening track of ‘My First Mistake’ there’s no doubt that you’re listening to something different because the influences and style of Burnt Tomorrow place them into the ‘different’ bracket. Take note though, these folk-rockers cut their previously-mentioned furrow through folk rock with a force that’s more akin to a 9RT John Deere tractor than a venerable, plodding heavy horse.

On ‘My First Mistake’ Burnt Tomorrow are Simon Driscoll (lead singer, acoustic guitar) Gabs De Tena (bass, backing vocals) JP Fleuret (piano, accordion, ukulele) James Pineau (drums) Katie Cook (percussion, backing vocals) and Tim Cooke (electric guitar, backing vocals). Together, they created an album with a wide-ranging scope, lingering melodies, powerful vocals and accomplished musicianship.

The album kicks off with ‘From The Heart’,which fairly sums up their sound – hook-rich songs, potent, wholehearted vocals, a prevailing electric guitar-accordion fusion, pulsing bass and formidable drumming – this is undiluted and full-flavour, no ‘lite-version’ or caffeine-free here. The eponymous ‘My First Mistake’ leads in with a simple acoustic break before it builds into an all-out anthem with striking vocals, sharp guitar breaks and driving rhythm section. That mix, more accordion-based, repeats through ‘Blind’ with superb drum-breaks, before ‘Take Me Home’ makes its definitive statement - vocals that seize your ears, electric guitar that could slice steel and a piano that rips throughout.

‘My First Mistake’ is definitely worth the investment of the few pence it will cost you to own a damn fine album. It’s unfortunate that line-up changes and personal circumstances have slowed their course and doubly unfortunate that the repeated inability of the postal service to deliver the album delayed this review. No matter, you can find Burnt Tomorrow here: www.burnttomorrow.com and if ‘My First Mistake’ is indicative of musical calibre, you will surely hear more from them.

Reviewer: Tim Carroll

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