Having earned ringing endorsements from the unlikely pairing of Snow Patrol and ex-Neu! man Michael Rother, Burning Codes are quietly becoming an act to watch. ‘Burning Codes 2’ retains the values of its predecessor but also signals an upsurge in ambtion with fuller production and songs whose appeal stretches from the local church to the stadiums
‘Speaking In Codes’ opens like a Snow Patrol song actually, with a semi-grungy guitar line. This is not entirely representative of the record as a whole though, which is still rather gentle in tone. So much so, that for the next two tracks, the voice of main man Paul Archer’s becomes a conciliatory whisper. The latter of these efforts, ‘Can You Hear The Sound’, is quietly anthemic with the echo-heavy production expanding the arrangement to its full potential. He offers a soothing vibrato for the hymnal ‘Sharper Than Gold’ and ‘Away’, then some ghostly sighs are heard above the shoegaze-influenced closer ‘Codes Are Innate’; a track which should go down well as the finale to a live set too.
In lesser hands, these songs would sound like quasi-religious twaddle but Archer sensibly keeps the arrangements spare; allowing guitar lines and lyrics alike the space to breathe. Moreover, he seems to have defined his own little niche in spiritual music that is kept grounded by its indie roots.
Snow Patrol, Spiritualized