Burns Out Bright - Distance and Darkness (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Burns Out Bright

Distance and Darkness (2004)

Deep Elm

Awkward is the first word that comes to mind as I listen to the debut EP from Burns Out Bright. The band tries a lot of different things on this 6 song offering, but don't stick with any of them long enough to make a really lasting impression.

The bulk of the music here is your basic emo-rock sound - jangly guitars on the verses, distortion on the choruses; subdued breakdowns that crescendo into one last "rock out part," a strong tenor voice carrying each track from start to finish. It's nothing groundbreaking, but it will do.

The real problem arises when the band tries to spice the tracks up. For example, some terribly out of place screaming shows up in "Crooked Streets, Empty Skies." It kills any mood the track may have set up to that point. The same thing happens in "Our Proudest Moments" - the band is cruising along nicely, then all of the sudden some Thursday-esque chug-chug-chugs eminate from the guitar. It just doesn't work. The grossest offender is in "Prodigal," where both the screaming and the chugga chugga make a reappearance.

It's frustrating, mainly because outside of these errors, the band has put together a rather solid, if rather predictable, EP. Shades of Deep Elm's poppier acts like Brandtson shine through, and the tracks are bouncy enough to make it onto the next episode of the OC. Burns Out Bright just needs to take a step back and focus on just one direction for their band - their full length will be better for it.

Crowded Streets, Empty Skies [full]
Our Proudest Moments [clip]
Watership Down [clip]
Twenty-Two [clip]