These days, the apocalypse is no longer the sovereign territory of survivalists, science fiction writers, and religious zealots: in one way or another, the end of the world is something we're confronted with every day. It's headline news, it's the subject of our favourite films, and it might just be real. Revival Beach, the eighth LP from Canada's The Burning Hell, is a response to that, and the songs on the album imagine different angles and aspects of how it all might end, whether that's a long way off or just around the corner. The Burning Hell has changed a number of times over its ten year history, and Revival Beach sees the band morphed into a trio, with the three members pushing themselves in new directions: Ariel Sharratt on drums and bass clarinet, Darren Browne on bass and bouzouki, and Mathias Kom for the first time ever handling all guitar duties. The songs highlight the musical diversity of the band, shifting from jangly garage rock to 50s ballads, rembetika-tinged instrumentals, waltzes, and delicate, tiny bedtime songs, all while keeping Kom's storytelling as the central focus. Even though it's about the apocalypse, Revival Beach is not a grim record: it suggests that, despite how badly we've messed things up, there might still be something worth redeeming in us. At the very least, we can dance.
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