Attention: hipsters, poseurs, fashionistas, scenesters, fakes, trend-followers, crew-members, faux-hawkers, metrosexuals, corporate-punk fans, emo-hair supporters, etc… STOP READING RIGHT NOW! Now if you are not labeled as one of aforementioned persons, or you dislike them, finish reading this right now. Save Yourself A Lifetime was released just for you!
After releasing an EP, being featured on Deep Elm compilations, and a triple split album, Deep Elm records released Burns Out Bright’s debut full-length album Save Yourself A Lifetime on March 28th. The Columbia, SC quartet delivers a mix of post-punk, post-hardcore, and emo with a punk rock spirit.
The whole thing about Burns Out Bright is that although they are serious musicians, their music is full of irony and laced with humorous, self-directed depreciation. With lyrics like “no need to fight, this is only your life/ just close your eyes and hope it turns out right” in the opening track, you can tell the constant absurdities will be abundant. Even before popping in the disk, it is obvious from the artwork on the cover and back track listing these boys are here to make music to feel good about. The bright colors, wacky fonts, and absurd song titles clash with the four pairs of feet hanging (by unseen nooses); justifying their sense of humor.
Save Yourself A Lifetime kicks off with two songs obviously directed towards the groups of people listed above, and their contribution to eradicating anything that “punk rock” stood for. “The World Is Going To Hell, We Don’t Have A Record Deal, & I’ve Never Had A Better Time In My Life” is the perfect title for the opening track which shouts “they’ll market everything/ poison everything you love/ and sell it to the ones you hate,” and is full of discontent towards sell-out bands.
The next track pretty much has the same “I hate you for ruining what I loved” vibe to it as it goes on to ridicule the fans of the music being exploited in the previous track. Personally, I’ve felt this way for so long about the state of punk rock and underground music, and it feels great to hear my thoughts come through my stereo speakers; “Here we are, punk rock is dead in the trunk/ and you’re asleep at the wheel.” Most bands wouldn’t even have the credibility to despise corporate and major-label music, but Save Yourself A Lifetime will be released on one of the most reputable indie labels out there that claims “Indie Til Death.”
“Replication Is The Highest Form Of Replication” continues with Burns Out Bright’s despise for cheapening what they love – the music. Needless to say, these are some pretty pissed off young men when it comes to the mass-produced music that is being released today – which is the opposite of Burns Out Bright. Every song on Save Yourself A Lifetime is delivered with a great deal of sincerity, and although it’s dusted with irony, all ten tracks are straight from the heart, gut, and soul. Burns Out Bright’s flame won’t be burning out any time soon if they keep this up.
A subtle joke that I found very funny in the track “My Other Band Is A XHardcoreX Band” was the use of the all-too-common hardcore calling-card of putting “X” before and after words. Also, the use of a breakdown during the song put a smile on my face. Mostly because Burns Out Bright is not a breakdown band at all. Save Yourself A Lifetime is chock full of guitar hooks that border on the edge of heavy, but break before they become unlistenable.
This full-length debut is an impressive show of musicianship. The guitar harmonies compliment each other like salt and pepper, the bass is rich throughout the whole album, and the drumming is spot-on. Burns Out Bright’s technical abilities, honesty, and sincerity really elevate them to a level above some of their more mainstream peers. The only problem I have with this album is that while it has a punk rock spirit to it, the songs last longer than almost every punk song. Save Yourself A Lifetime’s close to 53 minutes and can get boring and monotonous at times if you prefer your songs to be short, sweet, and stripped to the bone. If you really like The Appleseed Cast, Benton Falls, Fightstar, Russian Circles, Pelican, or instrumental bands then this shouldn’t bother you.
Fans of Small Arms Dealer, Armor For Sleep, Thursday, The Blackout Pact, Brandtson, Latterman, and Red Animal War will like this album.