“Burning Out” by Dirty Rivals might just help you get your emo rock fix. Reminiscent of that oh-so angsty, decadently satisfying early 2000s pop punk you loved as a teenager, this song excels in writing, production, and overall atmosphere. You’ll want to scream it at the top of your lungs, then likely hum it under your breath for the rest of the day.
A crunchy guitar riff fades in, closely followed by a series of driving snare hits. The vocalist screams as the full drum groove kicks in. As a listener, you’re already invested. It has this gloriously recognizable feeling to it, evoking a genre that carries monumental nostalgia. The verse slides in and the vocalist cries, “Got a couple complications in my head.” A grungy, non-diatonic guitar riff cuts through the break in melody.
In careens the chorus, and suddenly the melody rockets into the stratosphere–both in pitch and catchiness. The songwriting takes on an AABA form, with three repeated melodies and a different one sandwiched in the middle. This is a classic and highly effective tool used to create a memorable hook. It’s got an arc and is simple enough to remember after just one listen.
Be sure to check out Dirty Rivals if you’re into Radiohead or the Foo Fighters! They’ll doubtlessly transport you to a different, simpler time. “Burning Out” is moving, familiar, full, and overall cathartic. Needless to say, it covers all the bases. Don’t waste time, put it in your Alt-rock playlists, or better yet, just keep it on replay.
Written by Alyce Lindberg
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