Burning Brides
"Leave No Ashes"

(V2 2004)

Since their 2001 debut, "Fall of the Plastic Empire," which was released twice, Burning Brides have been due for a new album. Now, with all the pieces seemingly in place, singer and guitarist Dimitri Coats and band are ready to rock. This Philly garage band is a garage band no longer. The Burning Brides have, instead, returned with a more polished sound and, both, harder and catchier riffs.

One thing that does not change is the need to rock. Burning Brides opener "Heart Full Of Black" races with a strong hook before the slower and more focused "Come Alive," a bass heavy tune that has all the elements to get stuck in your head. Quick and dirty, "Alternative Teenage Suicide" is before the Black Sabbath influenced stoner rock riff of "King Of The Demimonde" sets in. "Dance With The Devil" offers The Strokes' trademark bouncy choruses with the Brides offering a twist of their own. "This is the sound of a rockin' band," Coats sings, self-assured, on the strong and hard rocking "Leave No Ashes" as the, unnecessary, sound of a crowd cheering enters, briefly, and Coats' cocky swagger continues into "To Kill A Swan." The softer sounding "Pleasure In The Pain" combined with the unexpectedly sweet sounding "From You" and "Last Man Standing." Raw and understated, "Vampire Waltz" is just the right song to end the album.

Alternately screaming his head off and actually singing, Coats has stepped away from wholly attempting to embody a mixture of Mudhoney's Mark Arm with a little Iggy Pop. While the first two thirds of the album is, more or less, full force rock, the final third is made up of surprisingly soft pop rock style ballads. More focused then their debut, The Burning Brides' "Leave No Ashes" is take no prisoners rock when it wants to be.