Burning Brides : New York Bowery Ballroom

...makes you feel like you've suddenly stood upright after hanging upside down...

On a list of phrases one is unprepared to hear at a rock show, “Can this cockpit hold the vasty fields of France?” must take some kind of prize. Yet here we are, in the vasty pit of NYC’s Bowery Ballroom, listening to Dimitri Coats, Burning Brides’ wild-haired frontman, recite the prologue to Henry V. From memory. All thirty-four lines of it. Sticksman Jason Kourkounis’ bass drum has broken, and while most bands (hell, any band) would fill the awkward hiatus needed to replace the equipment with desperate jokes, Burning Brides give us Shakespeare. If you love them for no other reason, this should be enough.

Evoking the spirit of the Bard isn’t their only trick, however. The trio rock with the might of many soldiers, thrashing and bashing through the adrenaline-junky likes of ‘Plank of Fire’ with a take-no-prisoners imperative. Sparky Stooges homage ‘Glass Slipper’ makes you feel like you’ve suddenly stood upright after hanging upside down, and ‘Arctic Snow’ proves that pristine pop songs can indeed be forged from the heaviest metal riffs.

Still not impressed? Halfway through ‘Rainy Days’, bass player Melanie Campbell leans over and pukes voluptuously next to an amp, then smiles and continues to play. “That’s rock’n’roll,” Dimitri shrugs, and he couldn’t have said it better – iambic pentameter, or not.

April Long