Last summer saw the dissolution of one of my favorite bands, Montreal’s Barn Burner. They finished off in fine form with a solid tour and plenty of drunken farewells. It was a satisfying ending at least, one that was just recently made a little bit sweeter with their final parting gift, a Christmas present of four demos and one unreleased track. “Devil’s War Ship” or “Bangers III” would have been their third album and from the sound of these demos it would have been a fuckin’ ripper at that.
All four tracks show a slightly darker shine to their tunes, with more emphasis on the heavy and less on the speed. More evil, more crunch and plenty more crust, the fact these tracks are recorded as rough demos does nothing to detract from them. If anything the ragged edges make them more endearing as loose and little fucked up were Barn Burner at their best.
This leaning towards the dark ‘n’ heavy sludge side is also reflected in track lengths, with all four spitting around the 5 minute mark except for “Fatal Knights” which busts on past the 10 minute mark. I personally love this new dedication to fire, brimstone and bong resin. Straight rippin’ is still a good time but I always like to hear some grime thrown into the gears.
The last track, “From Black to Blue”, is an unreleased song that was cut from “Bangers II”. As such, it falls under the classic Burner style, hard riffin’, beer flailing stoner rock that was the fuel for hundreds of drunken pits. It also serves as a tasty contrast to the four previous tracks, showing pretty clear the stylistic changes that were in the works before they disbanded.
“Bangers III” is five bucks on Bandcamp and even if you didn’t give them much time before, you should give these couple tracks a spin. It’s a worthwhile farewell from one of the better bands to sleaze through my ears, leaving my eyes bloodshot, the walls sticky with beer and dull haze choking out the air.