Burning Shapes released their debut album, These Things Happen, in October and MarsBands gave it a couple spins and came away amazed. The album is full of brilliant vocals, harmonies, melodies, and music. You may recall we conducted a series of interviews with Toby back before the album (or its name) were released and well before we had our cool new mascot. In that series of interviews we got to know Toby a little better, as well as got to learn more about Burning Shapes and what makes them tick. If you want to see those interviews they can be found here –> (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4).
If you’ve been keeping up with the band, you should already have the entire album downloaded for free. In an innovative and brilliant move, the band released each song for free by using QR codes. If you found those codes, you could scan them and get a link to download a song. Very cool.
These Things Happen is 11 tracks of pure harmonious-Rock brilliance. Rather than rushing the process just to get something out, Burning Shapes took their time with this release, something that is very evident in the overall quality of the album. They also came out with a few very creative videos to accompany some of the songs from the album which you can check out on Burning Shapes’ YouTube channel. If you don’t know what to get someone for Christmas this year, you won’t be able to find a better gift than this album.
These Things Happen by Burning Shapes is an album that I highly recommend to anyone who is a fan of brilliant vocals and harmony. These Things Happen walks a very delicate line throughout. If you are a fan of Rock, you will love this album. If the crazy mosh-pit and and head-banging stuff scares you, Burning Shapes is perfect for you. It’s the perfect amount of Rock – not necessarily enough to head-bang to (though I did find myself head-banging to Drop) but enough to keep you right on the edge of your seat.
On one hand you could say that each track on this album are very different from each other. While they all have the same feel, they all have their own unique sound and composition. Duh, right? Ok, that didn’t come out right. Compare No Surrender to Lonely Fishes. If you’d never heard of this band before, would think those two songs we done by the same band on the same album?
With that being said, each track in These Things Happen, despite the contrasting styles, flawlessly transitions to the next. The entire album has a somewhat somber feel to it, which is most evident in songs like Silence Amplified, Someone Else’s Words, and Deaf Ears. It’s that somber feeling that takes the differences of each track and ties them into a cohesive whole. Speaking of Deaf Ears, I absolutely loved the little Bluesy/Jazzy guitar solo towards the end, as well as the background vocals. As most of you should know and if you couldn’t tell by now, I am a pretty big fan of harmony.
In this review, rather than go track by track, I’ve decided to pick out my three favorites and say a little something about them. To aid you in your reading ahead – music videos!
When the song starts off, you know right away that it’s leading up to fantastic chorus. As the song progresses the drums pick up a bit, things start to get a little hectic, and then the chorus comes ringing in. The harmony-driven chorus by itself is nothing short of sheer brilliance. The song as whole is an excellent blend of Modern Rock. The contrast between the verse and chorus is hard to describe. The chorus is much harder than the verse, but where that actually comes from is difficult to pinpoint as the guitars never get overly hard or distorted. Yet by some music-making magic, the song will see-saw you between wanting to Rock out and wanting to slow down and listen to the intensely passionate lyrics.
Utilizing the latest technology, the video for Silence Amplified is pretty spiffy. I’m still not quite sure how they pulled off certain shots, but nonetheless, it is a brilliant piece of creative art to accompany a fantastic song. I don’t want to underplay the skill and talent needed to pull off this video. There was some massive planning and prep work that went into this video, and it turned out amazing. The creativity that was necessary to come up with this idea speaks volumes to the creativity that Toby and the gang possess.
Track 10 – Drop (Build Up To Something)
Another great video to accompany another great song. When you watch this video and you start asking yourself questions like, “I wonder how many eggs they broke…” jump on over to the third part of our interview with Toby and he gives away the cinematic secrets to making the music video for Drop.
The thing I liked most about this song was the prominence of the drums and how they seemed to blend into the vocals. The song starts off rather slowly and softly. The chorus kicks in and creates a rather hectic atmosphere as the drums pick up the tempo a bit. If you haven’t noticed by now, harmony is a central theme in all of the songs by Burning Shapes. Drop is no exception. I also really loved the way the song ends abruptly after building you up and up.
Track 1 – Bad Karma
Possibly my favorite song on the entire album (though I was also very fond of Time Bomb) and easily one of the most epic videos you may ever see, Bad Karma makes a perfect opening track to the album. It is a perfect example of what to expect as you listen to the rest of the album – harmony-driven choruses, snappy drums, and some amazing vocals. Now don’t get me wrong, the song is amazing, but this video is EPIC. Easily the best music video I’ve seen all year. Not only is it brilliantly shot and produced and all that, it leaves you on a massive cliff-hanger!
First off, what the hell is even going on in this video? Second, who did Toby steal that lock-box thing from? Third, why did he want what was in it? Fourth, where are they going? And finally, when will we get to see the rest of this mini-series? Do we have to wait until the next album? Quite frankly, I’m not sure I can wait that long. This, in my opinion, is sheer brilliance on the part of the band. They wanted to build some intrigue and get people talking. Well, they have me talking and I am definitely intrigued!