New York, New York, it’s a wonderful town and it is also where you will find the goth/post-punk band Black Rose Burning. George Grant is Black Rose Burning and on the 17th of November, which was incidentally Grant’s birthday, he released his second album called The Wheel.
We start with “An Anthem For The Strange“, which is shy of two minutes. The album’s intro is short and sweet with the the sentiment that those who are different from the norm have a place in this world. “Black Sun Saturday” is a lament of being taken for granted and dealing with the pain. The chorus is catchy and the harmonies just make you melt. There is something about the beginning of “No Love Lost” that reminds me of The Cure, thought that doesn’t last for long, especially when the fuzzy tones kick in. An ode to a relationship in which there was no give and only take/demands.
Ever been involved with a person where you hung in but the other just made you wonder how long this will all last? “A Little Too Little” is the track with Grant imploring how much more do you want me to take, which is a glorious mix of electronic and guitar. There is the forever love song, “Antonia” which is so upbeat and even has a guitar solo which is pulled off very nicely. There is a futuristic feel to “Gravity Drive” and though the synths sparkle brightly, they belie a sadness and pain in the lyrics.
I am not utterly sure about “Automatic Man” but I truly believe it is going to one of those songs that different people are going to hear different things that are pertinent to them as it is a very passionate piece. Track eight is a cover of a favourite song of mine by The Buzzcocks, “Ever Fallen In Love With Someone You Shouldn’t Have Fallen In Love With?“. This is a really interesting interpretation and that to me is a good thing because if you are going to cover a song then you need to put yourself into that piece.
Next is “Lightspeed” and although Grant’s voice is nothing like David Bowie’s, I could honestly hear him singing this. It has a sonic, 70s glam element as we hurtle through space. The title track, “The Wheel” is the turning of time, as things change and the challenge of living free. “Every Single Time” hits like it is straight out of the 80s and musically it reminds me of Orchestral Moves In The Dark. A piece about when people dissolve a relationship but one is left with a broken heart wondering what could have been and thinking about the loss of what was. The final track is “Solar Angels” and you can’t help but imagine the wonderful trip with the references to celestial bodies as we leave into the night sky.
Black Rose Burning has the elements of post-punk such as the jangly guitars and the keyboards and yet there seems to so much more going on. Grant cites bands like Sisters Of Mercy and more so The Church as big influences on his music which I can hear in the composition of the music. Space might be the final frontier but Black Rose Burning are already stellar.