Burn It My Way by Super Bonanza is an excellent EP combining lounge/exotica with alternative rock. The group manages to produce a lot of sound with their contrapuntal well thought-out lines.
The EP opens with “Aching Desire” a grunge Morphine-esque roadhouse blues. With crispy snare hits, buzzing bass and raw sax countermelodies, the song really packs in a lot of grit and edge into it. The vocals have a Tom Waits/Screamin’ Jay Hawkins vibe to them which works well in the context.
“Demon From The Past” opens with some chordal double-stops from the bass and moves into a Minutemen type of song. The saxophone works well shaping the harmonic structure with haunting organ floating in behind it padding out chords. Here the vocals show off a softer more legato tone, which works as a nice contrast to the opener.
“Burn It my Way” has an alternative rock riff that anchors it but incorporates some more psychedelic elements to it a la Beck. The saxophone functions well in a role traditionally filled by the bass while the actual bass works well establishing the motif and propelling the song forward. Including the organ is a nice touch and gives the song a very ‘60s character. “About You” is based around a sliding melodic bass figure. It’s a catchy riff and is accented smartly by sixteenth note hits on the hi-hat and howling saxophone. There is a piano which is also incorporated into the song structure which tonally is a nice contrast, but feels like it might be adding too much to the contrapuntal nature already being established by the bass/drum/sax trio. The quasi-double-time solo is quite impressive, moving the song almost into an ‘80s synth (but without the synth) sound, and the song could probably end there successfully as the last minute doesn’t seem to add as much to the track. Still, it’s very catchy.
“My Oh My” has some early-Mothers-Of-Invention qualities to it in the vocal inflections and stops. Again, the piano feels a bit incongruous with the lounge-core vibe that has been established; the song feels quite full with the bass and sax interaction while the drums flourish around it.
The EP closes with “Sad Taste” which fakes out a Krist Novelselic-ish bass line before the sax moves the song back towards Morphine. In 6/8 time, the song manages to successfully merge some early rhythm & blues with alternative rock. A multilayered solo of several saxophones moving into Ornette Coleman territory is executed well while the rhythm section lays down the mantra-ish groove. The drummer, especially, has lots of star time here.
Overall, the EP really shows off what the band does well. Their strength is in their minimalism, and bringing it forward/stepping up to fill in the space where a chordal instrument traditionally resides really produces some impressive results.
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