Artist – The Burying Kind
Album / Label – The Burying Kind / Unsigned
Release Date – March 12, 2021
Rating – 9/10
The plethora of music that is available for fans in 2021 is, in a word, staggering. In the same way that water will boil over the edge of its container when heat is applied, the myriad musical choices inundate all of us daily due to the easy access of the internet. Digital tools are readily affordable by almost anyone that wants to record their music and spew it forth upon the world.
Separating the wheat from the chaff, so to speak, can be a daunting task that many consumers of music do not undertake. Simply stated, it is far easier for them to stick with what they know, never straying too far from their comfort zone. By not taking the time to dive into the sonic pool, they are missing out on the joy of pleasant discovery.
With so many artists and bands either imitating the sounds of more established, successful acts or just not making memorable music, one’s ears tend to perk up immediately when something different, unique, and quite honestly good bursts from the speakers.
That was my initial response when I heard the first few notes of track one on the eponymous debut EP from Chicago’s The Burying Kind. I stopped everything else I was attempting to accomplish and devoted one hundred percent of my attention to aural goodness I was hearing.
The self-described dreampop/shoegaze band of multi-instrumentalist Scott-David Allen and the multi-talented Dan Milligan were introduced to each other by a mutual friend in 2019. Allen was in search of a remix of one of his songs from his synthpop/darkwave outfit, A Covenant of Thorns, which sparked the introduction. Milligan is the creator of the industrial/rock/punk supergroup, The Joy Thieves, which includes members of such bands as Ministry, Stabbing Westward, Marilyn Manson, and local Columbus duo Wandering Stars.
Having completed the remix, both musicians realized there was serious chemistry developing between them and broached the possibility of working together in the future. Fast forward to March of 2020, with the rapidly spreading Covid-19 pandemic shuttering the country. Both found themselves with unexpected free time and made the decision to begin working together.
The chemistry that showed itself the previous year came flooding back in as they wrote their first song. The music cascaded from them, as one song became two. Then two songs became five. And five became fifteen.
Their debut offering was culled from the fifteen songs they wrote, with five strong, solid tracks chosen to introduce the band to the world.
From the opening notes of the first track, Falling Over, I immediately felt the wonderful melancholy strains that encapsulated much of my formative teenage years in the 1980’s. I was hearing the best of early 80’s synth pop/goth/new wave/post punk that still resonates within my fond memories from that point of my life.
Allen’s vocals are at once despondent, while still resonating hope on the leadoff song. The music underlying his lyrics has an almost uplifting groove to it, with nothing out of place or overpowering. This allows Allen to take you on a gently undulating emotion-filled journey.
The dark beauty of Blur washes over you with purpose, evoking feelings of trepidation. Allen’s vocals carry an intense, building urgency that ripple with a fight-or-flight energy, driven by Milligan’s driving tempo on the drums. Echo and the Bunnymen would have loved to have penned this number.
The duo allows your heartbeat to return to a normal pattern with the ethereal and introspective styling of Rise. The haunting lyrics are awash in an aural fog that penetrates your psyche with stabs of glistening hope before falling back into uncertainty.
Whether you consider Horizons the least melancholy or most hopeful track on TBK’s debut, you will be assured by the song’s understated brightness that everything can get better. “And if it ever gets too dark / Just open up your eyes,” sings Allen with a quiet, yet forceful purpose. This track perfectly captures what lies ahead of us, as we begin to slowly emerge from the smothering grip of the pandemic and see the sun rising on our lives once again.
The sorrow of loss comes crashing back to bookend the album with the gossamer strains of Dusk. Is it the painful end to a relationship or an ode to a regret filled existence? Might it be a reflection on losing a loved one? Whatever you decide, this soul-stirring number will affect everyone differently. I cannot help but think of this as the last song I hear before I shuffle off this mortal coil. Yes, it is that evocative, especially with the soulful saxophone tying everything to together.
These five songs are the most poignant, and immensely important music I have heard in the last year. Are they hitting harder because of what we have collectively endured throughout the pandemic? Maybe so, but great music is supposed to elicit a tangible response within the listener.
Scott-David Allen and Dan Milligan have produced a diamond forged from the expansive pressure induced by a global pandemic. And for that, they should be commended.
The debut EP from The Burying Kind is available HERE.
- Falling Over
The Burying Kind (TBK) – Falling Over (Lyric Video)