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The Burning HellThe Burning Hell
Album: Public Library
Label: BB*Island
Tracks: 8

Well once again the postman has brought me a gem of an album "Public Library" is the seventh album from the Canadian outfit The Burning Hell. Those who like myself are unfamiliar with the band it is the brain child of Canadian Song writer Mathais Kom. Along with Kom who who sings, plays guitar, trombone,bass and harmonica the album also features Ariel Sharratt on vocals, saxophone and clarinet, Darren Browne vocal and lead guitar, Jake Nicoll vocals, drums, pump organ, synthase and piano and finally Nick Ferrio vocals and bass guitar.

So as for the album well it like the place it is named after "Public Library" it is a collection of short stories in the form of eight songs. The subject range from a murder mystery to a literary criticism each song as individual and unique as the next one. Well let's start at the beginning track one "The Stranger" the murder mystery. A dark tale of two doomed lovers stranded in a nameless town for the night who are forced to spend the night at a strangers house. As the night goes by they tell their story to their hosts for the night only to come up against a twist at the end worthy of the film usual suspects.

From a murder mystery the next book taken off the shelf is music biography called "The Road". It tells the story of a band touring the UK in a old van that on fateful night broke down near scotch corner on the way to a gig and the mystical mechanic Steve who in his wife's Fiat Panda who not only saved the gig as this was the most important thing but also fixed the van.

The next song is "Fuck The Government I Love You". A witty romantic comedy that tells the story of two people who met at a New Year's Party and the pit falls a perils that go with trying to have a conversation at a party all the miss heard sentences and the strange mix of party goers that you have to deal with at such events.

So we jump from a romantic comedy to a coming of age story called "Men With Out Hats". A dizzy whirling tale of a young lads foray into the world of music with his first purchase and as the line in the song goes "And when I got back home I discovered what my ears where for". Somehow I think we can all relate to the story with in this song.

Like every good library there is a True crime section and in this case it is called "Good Times". This little ditty tells the story of a individual jailed after being a little to exuberant after his sports team won a game. Finding himself in jail and befriending a con artist call Donald the Duck and the realization that jail was nothing like it is on the television.

From true crime to a literary criticism called "Give Up". Whilst researching the author of Moby Dick, Herman Melville the subject of this tale has an moment of clarity and realizes that the life as an author is perhaps not for him. Even the attempts of a mysterious lady benefactor could not persuade him to carry on so as in the title he just gives up.

All libraries have a scfi section and this one is no different. It is an offering called "Two Kings". A strange tale of two young friends who are convinced that Michael Jackson and Elvis are alive and well living in North Ontario. A strange and wonderful tale indeed ending with the two Kings disappearing into space.

The library closes with a romantic offering called "Nonfiction". A tale of discovery and enlightenment found through reading nonfiction books and the knowledge gained and the hiding meanings in everything around us.

So that is the quirky and brilliant "Public Library" in a nutshell, however a nut shell does not do it any justice at all. Like the books on the shelf in a library are as different to the one next to it, it is the same here. Each track is as self contained and different to the previous one and the next track. The things that link them all together is the exquisite song writing and the musicianship of the band which is excellent. The album comes out in April and is well worth a visit.

Andy Chamberlain