No Rest for the Weary
Looking for some of the year’s most quotable song lyrics? Try Burgess Shale’s “Fuzzy Logic”: “I had a dream and it’s almost gone/But there’s plenty of time to cash my check with insufficient funds.” Smart-ass sarcasm like that is priceless; it’s something that a critic anxiously awaits. But like the Great Pumpkin in the Charlie Brown cartoon, it’s often in futility.
Ironically, Burgess Shale will probably be noticed more for their musicianship than their writing. This is a group that seems to have created a genre of its own, or perhaps even more than one. Taking cues from the Beatles and the progressive AOR movement of the early ’70s, Burgess Shale are all over the map, haunted by vintage Santana in the beginning of “Fuzzy Logic” and maybe even Steely Dan on “Thanksgiving.”
I especially like the vocal chemistry between Heather Hopson and Brian Fraser. Hopson’s singing takes Burgess Shale outside of the nerd-rock vibe of Yes and Rush, giving the band a folksy flavor that puts some heart into Burgess Shale’s cerebral musings. At times, Hopson recalls Aimee Mann, which is always a good thing.
Based in San Francisco, Burgess Shale definitely belong to that city’s long line of cutting-edge artists, dating back to the late ’60s. They’re merely following their own muse and refuse to compromise.
Burgess Shale: www.burgessshale.us