Burn Burn Burn! delivers the music you’d expect from a band named after an obscure Against Me! song. Its loud and raucous and melodic and heartfelt. The Seattle boys seem less concerned with politics than their Gainesville counterparts, but the influence is felt all the same. As far as Pacific Northwest punk rock goes, this isn’t too uncommon– Cascadia is filled with punk rock that’s melodic but not poppy, passionate but not political. It all comes together as expression on the smallest scale; bands playing small stages in the side rooms of dive bars, coming in with a handful of songs, and leaving with bellies full of beer and sore throats. Have Fun is an EP in this vein, and its a true one, working as a complete, cohesive work as viable as any full length.
Organ opens “Endless Summer Bummer,” giving way to a beat reminiscent of something 60’s and deliciously pop, but with the plaintive vocals of frontman Drew Smith they’re imbued with a sort of steadfast desperation. There’s a stuffiness to his voice here that makes me wonder if another take could’ve been used, but when he pushes his vocal cords it’s like he becomes a different person. The lyrics paint a picture of self loathing and nerves burnt from a hard lived youth. “What Doing” is a more traditionally punk rock song– fast and melodic with vocal lines that trip and stutter through speedy declarations. Burn Burn Burn!’s sound has a fair amount of Fat Wreck influence running through it, and it’s interesting to see how such a specific sound influenced bands that don’t necessarily warrant themselves as peers. There is tons of skate punk out there, but Burn Burn Burn! is decidedly influenced by it, rather than aping it.
“For Whodie” is one of the standout tracks on Have Fun, if only for its ominous, brutal change of pace. It begins with a ringing riff that wouldn’t be too far out of a band like Tragedy’s wheelhouse, before launching into a fast and furious hardcore song. The guitars are decidedly dark and minor, bringing to mind Defeater, an admittedly left-field comparison, but the oddness contributes to how effective the track is. Near the end, the band reclaims some of that sunny skate punk cadence and reintroduces the song into what the listener knows as their core sound.
Have Fun succeeds as an EP because of its strong tracklist. The best thing I can say about any EP is that it doesn’t sound like a collection of songs– lesser releases are only an assembly of words, but here Burn Burn Burn! form a sentence. From its deliriously creepy cover art, to its deadbeat ruminations on booze and life, Have Fun feels complete.