Burden Brothers


March 16, 2005

Vocalist Todd Lewis did a good job of silently laying rock band the Toadies to rest in 2001. Later the same year he joined with former Izzy Stradlin and Rev. Horton Heat drummer Taz Bentley to form the Burden Brothers. The band was supposed to be an Internet only project, but interest was so high that they released their debut album, "Buried in Your Black Heart," in 2003. Lewis and Bentley, joined by two guitarists and a bassist, descended upon SXSW into Stubb's outdoor ampitheatre Wednesday night.

Burden Brothers played head pounding, bombastic hard rock that had one foot in metal. Their reckless, world-conquering attitude was similar to Velvet Revolver's. They needed the sweat to convince the crowd. Their dark rock had decent melodies, and it was good music for a cathartic show, but it wasn't good enough for a return visit. It was too dumb and unoriginal. Lewis fronted a band that didn't have the intriguing changing time signatures and rhythms of the Toadies.

Lewis took advantage of the Burden Brothers' straightforward, balls-out, screeching midnight rock to burn his signature Bible-on-fire preacher hysterics brighter than ever. Lewis had a new rock god look going. Lewis ditched his post-Grunge duds for an open shirt and spiked hair. Since the Burden Brothers played celebratory rock, it made sense he was also more lively onstage than with the Toadies. He stalked the stage, talked to the crowd with vigor and threw out a bevy of frontman poses that were synchronized with cymbal hits and guitar hooks.

The band had fun and got the packed crowd into the music with their irreverent sense of humor. They somehow got everyone yelling "Dirty Sanchez" during the song of the same name.

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