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The Burning Fifteen

Chasing the Sleeper Cell (self-released)

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At first listen, Burning Fifteen's Chasing the Sleeper Cell sounds as though it could be a long-lost demo found in a basement rec room at Jack Black's mom's house. This Kansas City band plays superfast rock-metal with a hint of grindcore, courtesy of singer M.L. Collis' raptorlike wails and drummer Scott Bland's impossibly fast sticks. But just when you think Collis is gonna bust out comical, Tenacious D-style lyrics involving wizards and dark forces from below, he instead screams a fiercer diatribe of suicidal ponderings and biblical commands. (He lightens up with "Jessie," a humorous tribute to a dog.) Sleeper Cell, the band's third release, is a blast of angst-ridden energy and ferocity, bolstered by the Fifteen's ability to pull tight, polished songs from the rubble heap like shiny new V8 engines from the middle of a junkyard.

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