With a tracklist that reads like it was ripped from the pages of a great novel, The Burning Hell’s Public Library is loaded with brilliant sounds and gripping stories.
The band’s seventh record is a musical continuation of their previous offerings that takes songwriter Mathias Kom’s trademark story songs to new heights. Each song sounds like a different literary favourite, and the album includes a coming of age tale, a mystery, a romance, and more.
As the lyrics twist and turn around the group’s diverse instrumentation, Public Library incorporates an indie rock influence to The Burning Hell’s already unique sound, and pushes Kom’s storytelling further than ever.
The quintet recorded the album while on tour in the United Kingdom in 2015. Making good use of some off time on the tour, the group settled into a studio built in a converted church in the southeast of England and laid down the album with their touring sound engineer. The recording was “a magical experience” according to Kom, and the eight songs were recorded in less than a week.
Public Library’s opener “The Stranger” sets the tone for the rest the record with a rocking murder mystery tale packed with a priest, pancakes, and certain peril. Kom spits the story of Dan, an ex-priest who meets his lover over a stack of IHOP pancakes, while the drums shuffle along and build to a surf inspired guitar solo. The horns and reeds add a grooving melody between the chapters of the twisted tale, bouncing atop the old school rock and roll feel.
The third of the album’s eight tracks, “Fuck the Government, I Love You,” is something of a romantic origin story for the band – a waltz through a crowded and zany New Year’s Eve house party. The song was first recorded for a Mathias Kom and Ariel Sharratt duo album in 2015, but after The Burning Hell began performing the song while on tour, a new full band recording of the song found its way onto Public Library.
The rapid fire lyrics that reference philosophers and hip hop stars in equal measure are all wrapped up in reverb drenched guitar lines and lazy horn sounds that make for a vivid trip. “Fuck the Government, I Love You” is a track that only The Burning Hell could pull off, and it should soon replace “Auld Lang Syne” as the go to NYE song.
Like a good book, The Burning Hell’s Public Library keeps you hanging on every word with witty rhymes, weaving plots, and enticing characters. The record is a wild ride from start to finish, driven forward by the shouting horns and reeds, tasteful drums, and gritty guitars.
The Burning Hell will be touring Europe this spring, with stops at a few libraries along the way, before setting out on a tour of western Canada in June. For tour dates and more information, visit wearetheburninghell.com.