Review of Fall of the Plastic Empire Album by Burning Brides

Burning Brides

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Album Review - Burning Brides - 'Fall of the Plastic Empire' (V2)

Re-issued rock'n'roll savagery courtesy of Philadelphia's loudest.

A record this which hardly pushes the creative envelope but which does succeed in providing the listener with some ear-bleeding thrills. The Brides take clear inspiration from the late 80's Pacific North-West - indeed the worst tracks sound as if they could have featured alongside Swallow on a 1989 Sub Pop compilation - where punks playing metal briefly ruled the world. Take the slow burning grunge of opener, 'Plank of Fire', and its Cobain with a poker up his ass, screaming (and ode to "non-stop masturbation"; you'll go blind!) as evidence of this debt. Reliance on such a limited genre often mires the Brides in sludge - see, 'If I'm a Man' and 'Elevator' - and it is this which is the albums greatest failing.

Album Review - Burning Brides - 'Fall of the Plastic Empire' (V2) @

But there is some fun to be had, take 'Glass Slipper', an amusing no brainer, where the Stones and AC/DC meet, to stomping effect, and also the psychotic acid fried Butthole Surfersesque, 'Stabbed in the Back of the Heart', with its key refrain; "Been all over the goddam world now/ Once you're back you'll see what I've become".

This then is as primordial as it comes, but when primal works it hits like a sledgehammer, you need only look as far as the Brides messiahs Nirvana for proof of that. With greater focus, they, themselves, could succeed in packing something of that self same crushing punch.

Alistair Hann