Review by Stephen Nottingham
The accomplished second album from Newport-based Burning Ferns sees them further unfurling the talent displayed on their 2013 debut ‘See Saw Seen’, also released on Country Mile Records. ‘Public Mono’ delivers nine well-crafted songs, built to last, and fit to burst with melodies, vocal harmonies and catchy hooks. Songwriter Tony Gray also pens interesting lyrics, such as the humorous and topical words on ‘The Watchers’ about surveillance technology in our kitchens and the difficulty of “moving to an off-grid location by the sea”. Meanwhile, on ‘O’s and 1’s’ the singer laments time wasted in front of a screen. ‘Don’t Get on Them Horses’ and ‘Bullet Train’ open the album in a restless, driving fashion, with crunchy guitar riffs and swirling retro organ. ‘Made of the Sun’ and album closer ‘White Noise in a Dead Room’ showcase a more reflective and atmospheric side of the band. Think power pop – The Byrds through to Teenage Fanclub – with a healthy dose of woozy new Welsh psych rock, and you are heading in their direction. The band have a fuller sound than before, resulting from founding members Gray, Nathan Abraham, Brychan Todd and Slim Short being joined by Dave Corten. Richard Jackson brings his expert production skills to the party. This slow-burning record is sure to grow on you.