Hailing from Orléans, France the Burning Heads notched up their 20th Anniversary in 2009 and wrap the year up by releasing their 10th studio album “Spread the Fire”. It’s an impressive run for a band that has done so much to carve out and support the punk underground in their home country.
I first came across Burning Heads in the mid-Nineties when they toured the UK with Down By Law, but it was the 1998 album on Epitaph “Be One with The Flames” that grabbed my attention, and woke me up to what a great band they were. I really connect with the music and the message of these French veterans. And with this new collection of songs they are still on top of their game, blazing thru 15 hot tracks that draw inspiration from the likes of Bad Religion, SNFU, Snuff, Dag Nasty, Hard-Ons, Adolescents and D.I. for some top draw driving melodic hardcore, packed with punchy riffs and powerful choruses…. and those with a keen ear will note some familiarity in the ringing guitar line of “One in a Billion” to God’s epic “My Pal”, beauty! And the Antipodean connection doesn’t end there… they close the album with an energised reprise of The Easybeats classic “Friday on My Mind” – sacré bleu!
All this musical goodness is coupled with a straight talking humanitarian communiqué, raising a voice for minorities, the displaced and dispossessed, the shallowness of market driven consumerism, and in turn the hypocrisy of government propaganda and warmongering. Clearly the Carla Bruni effect has not rubbed off on these guys!
It would be fair to say that I approach albums by bands I respect, not so much wanting to be impressed as not being disappointed. And this album did not let me down, one bit.