05 February 2018


c/site 2018, edition of 100

"safe to say that the best Monday night house party has been happening on a weekly basis at the Helderberg House in Albany. For well over a decade Burnt Hills has gotten together on Monday nights to jam, host shows and produce some of the best free-form psych rock the 21st century has known. On Round Lake, one such Monday evening is captured. On this night the usual Burnt Hills players are joined by Marc Weinstein, former drummer of the mighty MX-80 Sound (that makes for a total of three drummers on this session). Starting on a slow groove, Round Lake ramps up quickly into the full freakout that has been typical of Burnt Hills jams. The band sustains the heaviness with the confidence and ease of seasoned vets, allowing the listener to be lost in the shred and fury pulsing out of the basement." - C/SITE

ROUND LAKE continues BH's emphasis on the groove, letting in some natural moonlight and cool air to counter some of the daunting claustrophobia of their patented helderberg haze, apparent that -something- is different in the gradient, more than just a third drummer, though crucial in the waning minutes of this hour long excursion - the first few could be a lost basement tape of ASSEMBLE HEAD IN SUNBURST SOUND or hell maybe even DEERHUNTER if they hooked left instead of faded right after CRYPTOGRAMS, but then it slides toward their more familiar careening cacophony

following a wide-open gear-shifting muscular groove, ROUND LAKE channels BEEFHEART's "drop out boogie" and the KINKS "you really got me", elliptically orbiting a vibe triangulated by ELEVATORS' LIVE IN TEXAS, FLYING SAUCER ATTACK's IN SEARCH OF SPACES and COLEMAN's FREE JAZZ with an ambulance siren and table saw added to the lobe-splitting frenzy - that said, ROUND LAKE mostly manages to stay on its hinges, with some sweet lead guitar lines that mange to climb -just barely- above the fray long enough to open pathways previously closed off by gratuitous sonic demolition - if previous efforts might be perceived as "noise" -pejorative sense- then perhaps this is thee BH recording to shed that stigma and earn more appreciative ears

is this stoner rock? eh, sure, but it's sure to send most purveyors ducking for cover, so i might go with somethin a bit more selective like "proto industrial bonehead kosmische" or even the grossly ambiguous "experimental rock" if that helps any fence-riders - perhaps consider BIRDS OF MAYA's READY TO HOWL and MIKE VEST (BLOWN OUT, HAIKAI NO KU) demos, or that ROUND LAKE could be construed as BH siphoning away some of the untapped resources lying beneath adjacent sonic territories of fellow tip-of-the-spear free rock outfits DSDV and DIRE WOLVES, though both arrived on the scene after BH, and ROUND LAKE is still very much (un)filtered through BH's inimitable -untouchable- chaos theory, obliterating everything in its path

get it direct from C/SITE -or- from FLIPPED OUT distro (run by central BURNT HILLS member and helderberg house owner JACKSON WINGATE), who still has some PSI LAB tapes available (PL08 NATIONAL PARK SERVICE, PL14 SKITTISH ARM and PL15 DIRE WOLVES)