Let It Burn - Hello Good Friend (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Let It Burn

Hello Good Friend (2003)


Well, it's about that time of the year that I just get jaded on the idea of punk rock actually sounding fresh and original while sticking to their roots. We're reaching almost the midway point of the year, and I can't point to a single pure punk rock album that would make my Top 10 list at year end. As each day slips by, my hope for a band to make me remember why I once called myself "punk" grows slimmer and slimmer.

And, as if on cue, I get some random CD in the mail from a tiny label [this time it's Alone Records, from Oswego, NY] the re-affirms my faith in punk rock.

Now, this is not to say that Let It Burn is the best band going nowadays. They're far from it. They're sloppy, poorly recorded, and fairly derivative. But I'll be damned if the six songs on this EP don't knock me for a loop with their sheer intensity. After spinning this disc nonstop all day, I just want to strut around [as I'm sure the singer does while onstage] and puff out my chest like a young Mick Jagger.

Funny I should mention Mr. Jagger, as the band covers the Rolling Stones classic "Miss You." Sure, they "butcher" it like any punk band worth it's salt does to a classic rock cover, but the song's bluesy swagger comes alive in these kids' hands. The EP also contains a cover of David Bowie's "Hang On To Yourself," but I can't say I've ever heard the original, so I couldn't tell you if it sounds better or worse.

The real gem on this disc, though, is track two - "On Angel's Wings." The band kicks it into ludicrous speed for this minute and a half, balls-to-the-wall punk gem. I swear, every time I listen to this song, I'm just waiting to hear guitar strings break.

The release does have it's downsides, though [and it's not just that their semi-transparent CD (like NOFX's "The Decline") won't play in my car stereo]. The CD is too damn short. In the band's bio, it is stated that the group cranked out 2 full length albums in 2001 and 2002 - why just this small taste? I'll admit, it did whet my appetite, so I guess it served it's purpose.

So I've pretty much been praising this whole disc - why am I only giving it a 6? Mainly because the band needs some work. This shit is good, but it's not great. But give them a little time, and I bet it will be.

One line summary - Let It Burn is what Minor Threat would sound like if they got hammered one night.

Extended one line summary - possibly some of the freshest hardcore punk to come out of Jersey since Lifetime.

Hello Good Friend