The Burning Hell
The Burning Hell is the ongoing musical project of songwriter Mathias Kom and multi-instrumentalists Ariel Sharratt and Jake Nicoll, often including additional comrades and collaborators. Their densely populated genre-shifting songs are packed with an abundance of literary, historical, cultural, and pop-cultural forebears, heroes and villains, subjects and objects, stories and hooks. They move with heavy rhyme and a light step, incorporating a frequent fixation on apocalypse and ruin into work that celebrates participation in a surprising, delightful, and even occasionally beautiful world. Which is to say they’re good dance partners and they want to dance with you.
The Burning Hell are DIY in the best possible sense—underlining the “Do”—their albums and singles manifesting from the edges of the music industry as collaborations with independent labels and publishers, and their years of touring forming connections person by person, show by show, in town after town. They’ve famously ventured to every out-of-the-way island and inland neglected by the less adventurous, emphasizing presence and connection across latitudes, longitudes, and time, affirming a commitment to the political power of sharing music. It is a profoundly optimistic gesture, by way of killer tunes, exuberant hooks, and joyful live performances.
Garbage Island, The Burning Hell’s newest album, is a danceable romp through a fractured landscape of apocalypses near and far, celebrations of failure and escape, a dense medley of pop culture references, and plenty of birdlife. It will be released on June 24 2022 on You’ve Changed Records in North America and BB*Island everywhere else, and the band will spend much of the autumn and winter touring it through Europe, North America and Australia.
“Canada’s The Burning Hell write the kind of literate, funny, catchy songs that makes you want to learn all the words and shout them passionately back in their faces.”
Drowned in Sound
“Even Jesus is going to enjoy this, once he finally gets here.”
Tom Robinson, BBC Introducing
“The wordy songsmith behind Canadian quintet The Burning Hell, Mathias Kom has a dry wit and sharp eye that elevate indie-rock tunes into offbeat storytelling treats.”
“Kom sings what he sees, from truculent kids and their smugly indulgent parents to corrupt corporate greed, to some things he doesn’t: Norse gods and the futility of cults. His half-spoken baritone will appeal to fans of punk vet Jonathan Richman, the music to those of pioneering alt-rockers They Might Be Giants. If that sounds a little too college-rock clever, rest assured that Kom’s music falls on the right side of the indie rails, knowing but always careful to let the listener in on the joke.”
“The Burning Hell are expert musicians, but onstage, more than with other bands, there’s a palpable sense of friendship that comes first. It made for a contagiously enthusiastic set that fired up the crowd, who packed in close to the stage to celebrate with the band. If Lawnya Vawnya is about music, community and love, then the Burning Hell are perfect standard bearers; their performance was a stirring mix of all three.”
Exclaim! Magazine review of The Burning Hell at Lawnya Vawnya