I hate saxophones. I hate even writing the word saxophone. It’s Baker Street’s fault. I have a near pathological hatred of that song and for a while, thanks to a Stuart Maconie penned urban myth, I hated Bob Holness. But I think my sax life might be about to improve. Burly give good sax, see. And vibes, and jazzy drums and breathy guitar. They’re a jazz ensemble playing indie rock, basically, and it’s niiiiice. Doesn’t harm that the lyrics read like poetry, are delivered with real emotion and there’s a sense that these songs were composed, rather than written which, given their two-year gestation, this makes perfect sense and is in line with their self- described ‘non-urgency’ style.
Six tracks, all beautifully delivered in a warm and beguiling fashion, occasionally confusing and never less than interesting. Take ‘Kent Lane’, for example. A song inspired by an anonymous story on a Grateful Dead message board about, presumably, drugs and their effects, and it is as it should be, Burly in their elemental groove. Or ‘Happy Birthday 2001’, pretty much the opposite in tone and content. A perfect double A-side.
There’s not much, if anything, around like this at the moment; and if there is, I’ve not come across, and I don’t mean to damn with faint praise, but the sax on this sounds entirely apposite and c’mon, who in their right mind doesn’t want more vibraphone? Deserves to be heard.