Sunday 20 Apr

Dustin Prinz - Eleven

Few musicians take the time to master their instrument in the way that Oklahoma City singer-songwriter Dustin Prinz has; he’s a guitar virtuoso in every sense of the word, and Eleven gives him the chance to show just how far he can push that skill.
04/15/2014 | Comments 0

Horse Thief – Fear in Bliss

Listening to Horse Thief’s previous release — the haphazardly melodramatic Grow Deep, Grow Wild — felt like a chore. Whatever potential the Oklahoma City folk-pop act demonstrated on the EP was obscured behind a formulaic, contrived and ultimately hollow cloud. But it at least offered a glimmer of promise for a band consisting of, frankly, five pretty talented dudes. Critics saw it; the band’s management saw it; its current label, Bella Union, saw it; and its increasingly fervid fan base saw it.
04/08/2014 | Comments 0

Colourmusic — May You Marry Rich

There’s always a sense of danger when debuting songs in a live setting and playing them well. Without having heard the studio versions, expectations are set according to the live incarnations. But capturing the breadth of free-flowing atmosphere and sheer volume on a disc, vinyl or digital file isn’t the easiest thing to do, especially for a band as vociferous as Colourmusic.
04/01/2014 | Comments 0

Em and the MotherSuperiors — Churches into Theaters

As titles go, Churches into Theaters is an apt descriptor for the debut album from Oklahoma City rockers Em and the MotherSuperiors. It’s a reverential record, one that shares the gospel of classic rock, blues and soul but embraces the need to refashion it for modern times, channeling The Dead Weather, Grace Potter and Cage the Elephant along the way.
03/25/2014 | Comments 0

Rachel Brashear — Revolution

Rachel Brashear’s second EP, Revolution, starts with a kick to the shins.
03/18/2014 | Comments 0
Home · Articles · Music · Music · Burns both ways

Burns both ways

Can a metal band be beloved by Christian and secular audiences? August Burns Red proves it can, and still rock hard.

Joshua Boydston January 25th, 2012

August Burns Red with Silverstein, Texas in July and Letlive
7 p.m. Thursday
Diamond Ballroom
8001 S. Eastern
$18 advance, $20 door

Metalcore band August Burns Red is rapidly approaching a decade together with relatively few lineup changes and nothing but smooth seas in sight.

“We never blew up and exploded overnight,” guitarist JB Brubaker said. “We grew at an organic pace and amassed a following that way. That’s the difference between us and some of the bands that go away as quickly as they come.”

The Pennsylvania-based group — which got its name from a newspaper headline detailing a founding member’s unstable ex burning his dog alive — gradually garnered its devout following within secular and Christian audiences starting in 2003 with a dense, vicious noise that, in retrospect, didn’t carry much actual weight despite a spiritually informed message pinned onto its underbelly.

“When we started out, we just wanted to be a heavy mosh band. We didn’t care about anything but playing breakdowns,” Brubaker said. “At that point, we really weren’t capable of doing much else than chugging on an open C. It was fun, but it got boring.”

But 2007’s “Messengers” and 2009’s breakout “Constellations” found the band musically growing up to a certain extent, and also gave it a unique identity among the hard-core set.

“Initially, we were playing weird time signatures, and it wasn’t as cookie-cutter as a lot of what the other bands were doing. I think we kind of pioneered that — not that we invented it — but it’s something more bands are doing now,” Brubaker said. “We’ve always, especially now, been motivated to write songs that are different from the other bands in this scene. We don’t want to be the copycats; we want to be one step ahead.”

August Burns Red’s newest album, “Leveler,” has the group breaking new ground in that relative wilderness by broadcasting a sound that strikes an unfamiliar line between metal and hardcore. Crowds have responded by making the effort its highest-charting to date.

“There’s a lot more experimentation than there’s ever been. We branched into genres we’ve never explored before,” Brubaker said. “We actually sang on this record. It’s a big step for us, and I hope we can use that to build on.”

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