Fresh Stream



If you’re going to San Francisco, be sure to bring some quarters for the arcade. “Spell Breakers,” a single from Burnt Ones’ new LP Gift (Castle Face), must refer to some dusty joystick and colored button console adventure, because it sounds like the psych-pop memory of boyhood gaming. The song leads in with the segmented, plastic high-hat of a junk drum machine and some strange Atari synth-guitar hybrid – a weathered music box warped, a florescent flickering. Riffing floor toms and snare-claps drop in to fill out the wheezing ring of bleeding doublings. Mark Tester declaims a static melody like an inner monologue, “sixteen and in my room.” Two times through the goods, time for texture shifts – exposed my-first-Strat, (build and drop), delicate acoustic finger picking, (build), mewing distortion, octave piano pound. Over too soon, another life for just one more token, stare at your virtual body behind the countdown while the machine hums and spurts.

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