Review: bunsenburner ‘Squall’ EP

From the moment Norman Lonhard’s drums begin, the assault on your senses with the opening to Froth and the rest of the band pick up their instruments to join his lead, this EP can only be described as a kaleidoscope of sounds and noises all battling for the attention of your eardrums but mixed together so beautifully, that it is creating something audibly delightful.

bunsenburner 'Squall' Artwork
bunsenburner ‘Squall’ Artwork

bunsenburner are a quintet of genre-defying musicians who are known for their experimental and improvisational prowess. Their latest release, Squall, is right up there for me with other incredible instrumental releases that have come out this year from the likes of Mountain Caller and Clouds Taste Satanic, pushing the musical boundaries further and further.

What makes this EP even more remarkable, is that it was recorded in an intense single day session. This was a deliberate choice that kept the band laser focused on the musical direction of frontman Ben Krahl, which had vehement protests from one of their neighbours that ultimately led to the EP’s title.

American Dream Pt. 1 and then Pt. 2 give more depth and context to where the band are musically, it’s innovative and raw, with synths taking the lead before the stoner, sludge and doom propels itself to the front and encapsulates their dynamic sound. By recording all the songs it one day, it aligns them with their goal to connect more deeply with their audience.

innovative and raw, with synths taking the lead before the stoner, sludge and doom propels itself to the front and encapsulates their dynamic sound…

Serpents takes me back to a time when I first heard artists like The Orb and Orbital, it has that serene quality to it, like a lazy Sunday morning vibe before someone burns the roast dinner and all hell kicks off. The beginning of Dunes, with its sublime bass, teases you as it’s the appetiser to a cacophonous sound that will delight and astonish you, the tempo is perfect, the timings are bang on and it’s a sumptuous piece of music.

Spawn is a bit eclectic, almost like a ‘listen to this, what do think?’ strumming which they recorded and decided to chuck on the record, yet it just fits really well, before Leaf Muncher picks up the pace again with a combination of sounds that are designed to draw you in and then leave you wanting more and more, but it is sadly over far too quickly.

It all ends with Chrysalis which has a gentle, calming opening, and then rises like an eagle flying over a snow tipped mountain, all strong and powerful and totally in control of its surroundings before it flies away into the distance, leaving you with a plethora of fond and wonderful memories.

Potential release of the year? It’s going to take some beating.

Label: Bensnburner Records
Band Links: Official | Facebook | Bandcamp | Spotify | Instagram

Scribed by: Matthew Williams