Those twisted souls behind “Sawyer Family Album” and “Why Did God Create The Sawyer Family” are back with their most depraved and disturbing trashterpiece yet. A blood soaked nightmare of perversion and the unclean, “The Burning Times” will plunge you screaming and moaning into the dark heart of insanity. Sickening tales of gut hunting mummies, sexual deviance, werewolves, necrophilia, lust, witches and murder await you. Witness Master Seth Sawyer’s vicious eroticism, Judge Jarod Sawyer’s mysterious reign over his lunatic brethren, Zac Sawyer’s dark paganism and Kylsaw Sawyer’s pure brutality. For the past nine years, The Sawyer Family have traumatized audiences all over the west coast with their unnerving ability to combine the darkest urges of the human mind with a sincerity, soulfulness and raw talent generally associated with far more respectable artists. In a world overrun with murder, violence and perversion, “The Burning Times” is the perfect musical accompaniment. Are you prepared for The Burning Times to begin?
Here's what Molly Templeton at Eugene Weekly had to say about “The Burning Times”....
”Join the Family
Maybe you think you don't care about the musical subgenre of psychobilly. Maybe the impeccable zombies-and-greasers style of The Sawyer Family doesn't seem like it's really your thing. Maybe you've never stumbled upon a Sawyer Family show and found yourself strangely charmed by the dark and moody spectacle of Count Vlad Zacul Sawyer's personal relationship with his double bass.
The Sawyer Family fellows, with their ever-so-serious array of graveyard dirges, murder ballads and retro rock filtered through a horror movie script, transcend what could be a limited audience of tattooed girls with pinup bangs and pompadour-wearing guys in leather jackets. The reason is simple: They're damn good at what they do. It might seem schticky, but the band's image is a backdrop to solid songwriting and that elusive quality best described as 'togetherness': Even more than last time around, these four guys sound like a whole. The Burning Times, the Family's new album, is a sleek (but not slick) collection of songs that keeps the cheeky, creepy cleverness of 2006's Why Did God Create the Sawyer Family? while adding depth to the band's sound and displaying their range. 'Buried Alive' is a frenzied, brief, distorted fright-night burst that leads into the oddly named, unexpectedly soaring instrumental 'Fistful of Titties.' Slouching, ominous, slinky 'Flames' precedes the punkish, frantic 'New England Fall'; the first single, the disarmingly pretty and sinister 'Say Goodbye,' showcases Master Seth Sawyer's ever-stronger mournful vocal side. The Burning Times was recorded live, and it maintains an echoing feel, as if that recording took place in an abandoned barn. It also serves as a calling card for The Sawyer Family's shows: They're like this, only even better.”
Kevin at rockabillybass.com had this to say…
“The Sawyer Family is not a Psychobilly band.
There are more elements to these 4 blokes and their music than leather jackets and greasy hair. The infusions of Punk Rock, Metal, Rockabilly (ok, so there is some 'billy' involved..), Rock n Roll, Pop (shit... did I just say that?), Blues, and Classical are written so well into each other it would be bad to label them just as another 'Psychobilly' band. You could so far as to label them a Punk Rock Symphony.
As a follow up to their first album, Why Did God Create ...?, The Sawyer Family has unleashed Burning Times. And let me tell you... it is a mastermind of a recording.
The opening track, Call of Osiris, starts the tone and gives you a taste of the Punk Symphony that you are in for. It's bouncy pop-punk feel with it's recitative vocals give this track an amazing energy and compliment the very Classical undertones that give the song depth.
Scream For Me is next up. If you're a fan of good ol' dirty delta blues or The Cramps, this song is for you. Very powerful, heavy and dark, Scream For Me has shadows of Bryan Gregorys creepy guitar solos that hit a nerve in your soul on top of a solid, morbid rhythm.
Impaler is just flat out fucking amazing. Sawyer Family's classical influences take over on this track. But not without bringing in some punk rock and turning it all into a surf stomp! Superb songwriting and musicianship on this song. The best part is who influenced the song....
Why Did God Create...? is a good question, but a better song. Punk rock with some metal thrown in for good measure... this song will have your fist in the air and your feet kicking up dust.
When The Moon Is Shining Bright is a soft ice cream ballad. It's by no means an ice cream ballad for lovers... but more for the love of destroying mankind.
The next two tracks, Child Of God and Buried Alive bring back the energy. Child Of God has the same bouncy pop-punk feel as Call of Osiris but with some nice swingin' changes in rhythm. Buried Alive is a straight ahead punk rock anthem that cannot be denied. Sad thing is... it's over before you know it.
The true surprise of the CD is track 8, For A Fist Full Of Titties. Ennio Morricone would have been amazed and proud. Spaghetti Western at it's finest. The musicianship is truly inspiring...
Flames is a song that Willie Dixon could of sang or wrote... if he was on Morphine. A slow bluesy swagger gives this track an amazing heaviness. It pulls you in so deep, you don't even notice it's over 7 minutes long.
Track 10, New England Fall, is a major piece of punk rock symphony. It goes through so many flawless time changes just in the first minute. Energy is this song. Great vocals and harmonies. Great songwriting. This song is where it's at.
Say Goodbye.... last song on the CD. Very soft (or is it?). Acoustic guitar, bowed upright bass, nice harmonies. Perfect ending for the disc... or your life.
I highly recommend this CD to anyone who is a fan of Danzig, Mayhem, AFI, Ennio Morricone, or anything dark and heavy (with a hint of Pop. Shit.. did I say it again?). This is not your typical 'sing about Zombies/Death' band though... so be warned.
If you have already experienced what is known as The Sawyer Family, you already know what I'm talking about. Buying this CD should be a no-brainer.
If you haven't been fortunate enough to see these guys live yet, make a it a point to. You will become a big fan.
Vlad Zaculs bass playing is phenomenal. Arco, slap, pizzicato, distortion... you name it, he does it. Really cool style of playing too.
Judge Jarods guitar tone and playing is so critical to the sound. Reverb, Vibrato, Clean channel... you can hear his influences, but he always keeps things interesting and true to only his sound.
Master Seths twisted lyrics and vocals, along with his rhythm/lead accompaniment, keeps things morbid and dark. Truly a great front man.
Killsaw Sawyer shows his punk rock roots in Orange County have paid off with a machine tight meter and interesting tight rhythm changes on the drum kit.
Go give them a listen. You won't regret it.
Trust me... this CD belongs in your collection. -Kevin Stewart Costa Mesa, California”
Serena Markstrom of The Register Guard says…
“If life were a high school musical, The Sawyer Family would be that gaggle of misfits who hang out at all-night diners and smoke cigarettes until 4 a.m. wearing second hand leather coats. They would talk about such things as James Dean and horror movies.
Their peers wouldn’t understand that when they play pranks involving fake blood, there is nothing to fear. Still, girls with ironed blouses would clutch their books to their chests and move to the other side of the hall when one of them walks by.
The …band has been together since 2000 and members are long past high school age. But it retains the knack of conjuring cinematic images with its music.
“The Burning Times” preserves the blend of rock ‘n’ roll, early punk, honky-tonk, rockabilly and the surf sound that has been in the mix since the band’s inception. But now, The Sawyer Family is doing it with more skill and with the cohesion that comes from keeping an indie band together for eight years.
The band says “The Burning Times” is its most complex album. It was recorded at The Distillery in Costa Mesa, Calif., using all analog production equipment.
The new Sawyer Family CK shows tremendous range, going from a simple 1950s melody in “When The Moon Is Shining Bright” to a rocker like “Buried Alive” to an instrumental with a slightly risqué title.
That instrumental is a composition that draws out a surprising amount of emotion. It sounds something like a trippy track by Explosions in the Sky doused by a Ventures surf tune.
“Say Goodbye” does a good job of controlling the balance between its melodramatic and morbid lyrical content. And the fact is, the song is dripping with humor.”