The Burning Symphony
Delusions of Sexual Grandeur (National Southwestern)
For background, The Burning Symphony is Wyatt McKenzie’s noticeably heavier, straightforward three-piece rock project with bassist Nick Hoffman and drummer Mitch Myskiew. That said, its debut EP isn’t exactly an overhaul from McKenzie’s Mother McKenzie nameplate. It still exhibits the lonesome, lover-scorned lyricism and that familiar, almost shy-sounding voice. But where Mother McKenzie may have used dragging, country-twanged backing, Symphony’s Hoffman and Myskiew add the ’80s New Wave complements for which McKenzie’s pipes were built to front — like how a Smiths 7-inch would sound spun at 33 RPM. The goofy, almost cow-pokey EP closer “I Dig Pussy” notwithstanding, the six-song Delusions of Sexual Grandeur sounds like it would’ve had a couple grainy, heavily candle-lit videos on early MTV. Best part: With few exceptions, Grandeur was recorded live — in eight to 10 hours, Ronald Corso of National Southwestern estimates — leaving no room for overthinking and just letting the songs sound like they would onstage.