BURN - City Gardens - Trenton, NJ - Photo: Ken Salerno
My first memories of Burn go back to a tape I got from a friend. The tape was some sort of rehearsal from 1990 and I definitely remember "Godhead" being one of the tracks. The sound quality wasn't so hot, but I could clearly hear that Burn was unlike anything I had heard before. Of course there was the Absolution connection with Gavin, but Burn was just a whole new beast that was packed with a whole new power and dynamic. This rehearsal tape I had went on to get a lot play to say the least, it was raw and real.
At some point, and I'm not quite sure about the date, Burn opened up for some bands at City Gardens here in Trenton, NJ. I was psyched that I was finally getting the opportunity to see them. Just by the all star line up alone, it was exciting to see what these guys were bringing because their past bands clearly left their marks as unique and talented. Think about it, you had Gavin with Absolution, Alex with Pressure Release, Alan with Beyond, and Chaka - although he was not in any previous band, he definitely got his feet wet in the scene by releasing the "New Breed" tape comp and being regarded as a kid with a lot of energy and style when he was simply going off to bands.
When they played that City Gardens show they simply blew me away. Chaka had so much energy and such a strong stage presence, but like their music, it was like nothing I had seen or heard before. So solid, heavy and groove oriented, you couldn't help but be moved. This style would be immediately copied and imitated, but few really put it together the way Burn did.
After the show I recall Chaka selling Burn shirts out of a box in the parking lot. Because City Gardens would sometimes take a percentage from bands merch that was sold, Burn decided to do it the old fashion way and just sell them in the parking lot. I bought a navy blue shirt, one of the first designs with the green and white outlined Burn logo across the front and the photo of the burning car and "Out Of Time" written on the back. I was stoked and really felt like I was getting an early look at a young band that was going to go on and become a major factor in the hardcore scene.
The next time I remember seeing Burn was at an early Middlesex County College show. I'm guessing it couldn't have been later than 1991. I remember the bill was Supertouch and Burn and a couple younger bands. Again, Burn were just incredible. I don't think the 7" was out yet, but I do remember people starting to know their lyrics and sing along a bit. They had definitely left an impression on others besides me.
From this point on I felt like I was seeing Burn every other weekend. Whether it was in Pennsylvania, New Jersey or New York City, anywhere Burn played - I was there. Show after show it was obvious that Burn was really picking up some serious momentum. Their shows were getting bigger, the crowds were getting bigger and they were clearly one of the major players coming out of the New York City Hardcore scene.
Along with the bigger shows and bigger crowds, I clearly remember Chaka's stage presence growing. He went from being a really good and energetic front man to one of the best and most insane. His stage dives were legendary, and in no way am I exaggerating. I'm talking about some of the sickest, highest and furthest dives I've ever seen done. I've been around numerous people who've flat out hit the floor from the impact of him landing on them. For this reason, you had to keep your head up when you were at a Burn show. You never knew when Chaka would be doing a running flip off a monitor, flying six feet in the air and crushing your face in. It was obviously pretty damn dangerous, but that's what comes along with the environment of a hardcore show.
Eventually Burn ran its course and called it quits. For a band that had nothing more than a 7" out on Revelation and a comp track released, as well as some slightly circulated rehearsal tapes and demos, it was nothing less than impressive how well known and remembered they are today as truly one of the greats. -Tim DCXX
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Posted by DOUBLE CROSS at 10:43 PM