Burlap’s Burnout King LP runs rings around noise rock copyists

By Danger Coolidge
Unbelievably Bad Editor


Pic: Alisha Bourke

Burlap is made up of members who’ve been around the block in a few other Sydney bands – vocalist Tom ‘Silky’ McEwen, guitarists Max Edgar and Nathan Martin and drummer Tom Houlahan – and their debut album Burnout King runs rings around the herd of copyists in their chosen field of noise rock.

Unbelievably Bad’s review of the LP gushed, “Burnout King is bloody good”. Don’t question it!

If anyone’s going to do any questioning around here, buddy, it’ll be us asking Max from Burlap about Burlap stuff…



Is a Burlap the same thing as a ‘Hessian’?
A hessian as in, “Check out that heshlord on the Michael Crafter shirt?” Then yeah, I think a Burlap could be someone similar.

What’s five things that influenced Burnout King?
1. Legendary riffs.
2. Doing burnouts (the kind you do in your Commodore).
3. Being a burnout (a waster, failure, oxygen thief, etc.).
4. Dealing with the parts of our nature that are a bit gross or unspoken whilst trying to appear a well-adjusted human being.
5. Relaxing in the bath with a relaxing bath bomb after a hard day of partaking in burnout-related activities.

Who is the Burnout King of the album title and the track “Burnout King Pt. II: Burnouts in the Pitt”?
When my girlfriend’s brother was in high school his classmates bestowed upon him the title of ‘Burnout King’, on account of his gift for hooning in his VK. I thought it sounded funny and kinda cool, so that’s where it comes from. The subject of the song “Burnout King Pt II…” is someone else, though. In the song there are two burnout kings, one being Silky, and the other a burnout queen. The song is about some burnout-related activities which had some more concerning consequences.

Where was Burnout King made and who helped make it?
We wrote the songs at The Pitz (R.I.P.) in Marrickville and recorded the whole album in a day back in March last year with our mate Ivan Lisyak at Soundworks, also in Marrickville. Ivan also mixed it, and after all that we sent it to our mate Jono Boulet for mastering. Our mate Jess Locke did the artwork and our mate Erin O’Brien did the design/layout. Lots of talented mates.

How do you see the progression from the sound of the demo to the LP? And was it planned or discussed?
The demo came together pretty fast. I guess we took a bit more time with the songs on the album, so there are some more considered or fleshed out ideas. There was definitely no conscious effort to try and do anything different when we were writing, though. There were a few more liberties taken production wise on the album I think, which was cool. We’re all pretty comfortable with a more no frills ‘punx’ production style, but we love Ivan’s work so we were cool with him just doing his thing and putting his stamp on it.

How can people get your record and see you play?
Keep an eye on our ‘socials’ to stay abreast of future Burlap outings. At time of writing our next show is May 21 at Black Wire with Fear Like Us, Run Squirrel and Canine (AKA best band in Sydney). You can buy our record from us at our shows, at the usual indie record stores, or you can order it online from both Trait Records and Black Wire Records. Or you can get the digital thing from our Bandcamp.




Burnout King LP is out now, a joint Trait Records and Black Wire Records presentation. Listen here:

Burlap play at Black Wire Records, Sydney, this Saturday, May 21, on a bill with Fear Like Us, Run Squirrel and Canine.


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