Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Mike Gentry
There's a part of me that never wants to know what it might feel like to hallucinate. Then there's the greatest part of me that tells me that if somehow I were to fall into a hallucinogenic state, I DEFINITELY wouldn't want have it happen in a desert. You'd be out there with the turkey vultures circling, stumbling around under a cloud of madness, getting dehydrated and more disoriented by the second. We're assuming you'd be paranoid as fuck, confused to the high heavens and dying even quicker surrounded by that suffocating heat and nothing to eat but sand and skeletons. The San Francisco band Burnt Ones give us an easy way to get into that condition without even having to leave the temperature-controlled climate of our own homes. We can just sit back, relax and feel ourselves slipping away into some weird (normal) illustration by Ralph Steadman, with those ink droplets becoming our eyes and mouths and heartbeats, the rest of our features slurring into our recliners and neck pillows.
You can feel the oven-like heat come over you like a thousand blasts of reverb and distortion, as guitarist and lead singer Mark Tester begins to let it fly. You feel as if your eyes are expanding and your skin is turning into a melting film of balloon rubber overtop your old stuff. It's sticking to everything and all begins to warp and gum together. Along with drummer Amy Crouch and bassist Brian Allen, Tester has made a sound that rumbles and crunches and gets propelled toward you like smoke. There's a sense that you're being stalked by a mangy desert dog, scrawny and weak, just looking for something to chew on, but he's no energy to actually hunt you down, so the chase continues endlessly, with footprints and paw prints shuffling along in a smudged pattern straight into the godless sun.