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The Best Blaze of their Lives
The second Burning Codes album is imminent, and it’s been worth the wait!
Colin Carberry, 18 May 2010
2010 has so far been a year of side-steps, feints, stumbles and mis-hit passes. Our local acts, it seems, have been playing with one eye on the summer’s World Cup.
The second Burning Codes album (untitled, apparently, but Braille-readers will find that it’s called Empowerment) has a lot to live up to. When Paul Archer unveiled his solo project in 2009, it was striking how intricately realised and fully-formed it already seemed. Empathy didn’t feel like a debut album. The certainty of tone and fine detail gave it the air of an old and richly flavoured thing which had been maturing in a barrel buried in the ground for many years.
Wisely, it seems that he’s decided to draw from the same vintage this time around – so there’s nothing new, nothing startling, nothing that will make you wonder if you’re listening to another act. In fact, so similar to the first one, it takes a while to convince that these are actually a different set of songs. However, once its personality does assert itself, you’ll know all about it.
Burning Codes records, it’s becoming clear, share a strong family resemblance – but hang out with them on their own, and the individual quirks and character traits become clear.
It’s a similar story with The Lowly Knights. The band’s introduction was so stratospheric; anything other than instant global dominance would probably have made their reappearance seem low-key. And thus it proved: their new Hollow EP approached the door so quietly, many of you will not have been aware it even knocked. Not that the band were ever particularly in-your-face (their early success surprised them as much as anyone else). This time round their reticence was understandable. Shorn of pretty much half their established line-up, the new Knights are a very different (and noticeably male) prospect to their previous incarnation. It’s going to take all-involved a bit of time to see if the old spark is still there. Vital signs are good. We wish them well.
Aaron Shanley’s a mere pup, but the Lisburn lad writes songs (and conducts business) like an old time pro. He’s been building up an online (and onstage) presence for a year or so, and there’s an eager glint in his eye when he talks about his upcoming debut album that suggests he’s here for the long haul.