Date of release:
The story of the rise and subsequent fall of West Australian band Snowman had the band come out of the Perth music scene in the mid-2000s and following hype and interest locally and from overseas saw the band release three critically-lauded albums, their last being released posthumously in 2011. The additional fallout from that breakup has seen Joe McKee eventually relocate to his home in the Darling Ranges south of Perth, to create this album’s surrealist, melancholic and isolated sound. Burning Boy is a dream-esque exploration of what is the perfect outro summing up the Snowman story and McKee really pours himself into every song. A reflective endeavour, there’s also a weariness that hangs over it all, a reminder of where McKee has been and perhaps a reflection on his assumingly broken ties to his former bandmates, who are now living in separate continents.
An almost nonexistent tempo is the basis for this great album, which is a landscape of visceral, heady music occasionally foraying into a silent, drunk and dark place. Always ill at ease, the mood occasionally shifts, as it does on Darling Hills, which doesn’t completely embrace its concluding Latin jazz sound but still combines it well with a neverending sack of despair. Funnily enough, the album is quietly brilliant and part of this is due to its coming from a very personal place.
McKee shows that he‘s an accomplished multi-instrumentalist and composer, and any Australian indie film-maker toying with a foray into The Hunter or Noise territory need look no further for the score to their next project. The highlight of Burning Boy is McKee demonstrating that he still has plenty left in the tank to give.
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