Album Review :
Burning Tree Project - Time and Color

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Artist: Burning Tree Project
Album: Time and Color
Label: N/A
Release Date: January 22, 2008
Reviewer: Scott L

1. Dear Valentine
2. Hero
3. Hello
4. Free
5. Put Your Helmet On
6. Less Of Me More Of You

Burning Tree Project is a 5-piece out of Orange County, California that has quite a back story.  Suffice it to say that Enik Lin the lead vocalist bears in his body the marks of a past far better left behind.  And it’s not just the haunting memories of drugs and depression… but the ragged scar of a bullet hole.  And while a history tainted by gang violence would seem to lend itself to a darker tone, Burning Tree Project is all about pop-oriented music that at once encourages and confronts.  You’ll notice a far greater maturity to their lyrics than your atypical fan-boy mall-pop.  The music carries a heavy sense of reliance and objectivity.

“We play for the audience of one but for the movement of millions”, states their MySpace page.  Thankful hearts that cry out to their saviour and invite those around them to come along for the ride.  And what a ride it is.  With a sound similar to There For Tomorrow, Settings, and Yearling, Burning Tree Project’s 6-song EP Time and Color is a well produced taste of what these guys have to offer.

Lyrically they aren’t necessarily right up in your face bold, but their message is clear.  And while they may supplement their songs with testimony from the stage at live shows, as far as the album content itself goes, hope in trying times seems to be the key that opens the meaning to their songs.  “Free” steps it up a bit with a more obviously Biblical message:

“Oh my God, oh my God
The walls are closing in
The lines begin to follow hollow veins beneath my skin
Glorious, Glorious
Your words beneath my lungs
Consume the wounds that carry my own cross to find your Son”

And “Less of Me More of You” is a plea for God to move through them.  Maybe loosely taken from John 3:30.

The problem with an EP is that when the band’s good, you’re left wanting more.  Such is definitely the case with Burning Tree Project.  I want more.  Lot’s more.  I like these guys.  They have loads of talent and yet don’t come across as pretentious.

Good vocals that don’t overwhelm you.  Nice guitars that work well with very distinct rhythm and lead.  The drums, particularly on “Hero”, could earn the band a Red Bull sponsorship.  Bang and crash and lots of it… but never out of sync with the tune.  Pulsing bass, a bit of keys here and there, and lots of swelling harmonies round out the sound scape.

The CD packaging is professionally done, albeit somewhat spartan.  It would be nice not to have to track down the lyrics.  Although, to their credit, they did post them as a blog on their MySpace page.  But the cover art… way cool.

All in all a worthwhile product that these guys obviously worked hard on and should be very proud of.  Check them out… you won’t be sorry.  And I have a sneaking suspicion that this isn’t the last we’ve heard from these guys.  At least I sure hope not.

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