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items tagged with Jon Burns

No Pretense to Pretty: Meth & Goats, “Leisure Time”; at RIBCO on September 16
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Music

Category: Feature Stories

2011-09-13 13:15:34

Meth & Goats. Photo by Dan Wilcox.

Without casting aspersions, it must be said that Meth & Goats’ new album Leisure Time starts at full throttle and never lets up, with few variations in volume, pace, or approach. The Moline-based quartet has crafted a pummeling record that over 32 minutes offers scant relief. The album’s first stylistic breather is the space noise of seventh track “Gem Vision,” which is even more assaultive than the other nine songs.

In that context, though, the album is quite an achievement – razor-sharp, discordant hard rock finding a midpoint between the breathless anger of Rage Against the Machine and the sonically ravenous exploration of Cedric Bixler-Zavala’s and Omar Rodriguez-Lopez’s the Mars Volta and At the Drive-in, without the ego-driven ambition of any of those bands.

If Leisure Time also lacks those groups’ moments of transcendent grace, that seems like a choice: Angular and throwing sharp elbows all over the place, Meth & Goats – which will perform a record-release show at RIBCO on Friday – makes no pretense to pretty. The album is loaded with hooks and urgency and dares you to keep up.

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DIY A-OK: Centaur Noir, “Rock the Hall”
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Music

Category: Feature Stories

2010-06-30 14:39:18

Jon Burns, a.k.a. Centaur NoirThe first two tracks of Centaur Noir's Rock the Hall are a study in contrasts. Lead track "Market Street" is a dusty piece of lonesome folk -- guitar, percussion, and a little harmonica under restrained twin vocals, one falsetto and one a hoarse croak.

It's followed by "Only English Spoken," with blunt beats and dominating electronics overwhelming the vocals.

So Centaur Noir, a solo project of Meth & Goats frontman (and Moline resident) Jon Burns, embraces a dual nature. Sometimes the two sides meet -- as on album standout "Ten More Years," in which the lead acoustic guitar is balanced by soft, droning synthesized melodies. But even when they do converge, each song's heartbeat is clearly either folksy or electronic.

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