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'You Can't Burn Out If You're Not On Fire'
(Rude Records)

Colin Liddell

colin liddell


I blame the Yorkshire weather. Growing up, the five young lads in Summerlin must have spent a lot of time indoors watching American TV imports rather than racing their whippets or fancying their pigeons in the rain-swept, post-industrial wasteland of Oop North.

Hence the whole sun-kissed skater-kid-trying-to-impress-the-girl-he-wants-to-take-to-the-school-prom vibe. Heck, the clue is in the band name and that of their debut album, a quote from the Californian Lizard King himself. But there are two Californias: the troubling, fucked-up place that people live in and which inspires darker music like that of The Doors or even The Red Hot Chili Peppers, and then there's the one that makes it onto the Disney channel.

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Summerlin reflect the second: a cosy suburban world where plot lines are driven by petty problems and petulant sentiments like "Growing Up Sucks" (No, it f**kin' don't). Halfway in and despite the occasional reference to the Yorkshire weather – "it's co-o-o-old outside-a-a-a" – and the occasional bit of bone-crunching riffing from what sounds like a mutinous guitarist, I can't shake the feeling that Summerlin are auditioning for the role of the slightly rough but ultimately lovable kids in a soap set in a Beverley Hills high school.

Image-wise – and I'm hoping the promo shots are way out of date – the comb-over hairstyles are straight out of the Justin Bieber or Zac Efron playbook.

The band obviously has a lot of talent, energy, and drive; so much so that you occasionally feel yourself getting swept up into their breathless optimism and slight feeling of being slightly romantically miffed. Maybe in future years, people will talk of their California pop-punk period the same way we talk about the Beatles cranking out Long Tall Sally for Reeperbahn punters: a prelude to something more original.

This can't be their true selves, and if they ever blow away the Californian sands, I'm pretty sure there's plenty of Yorkshire grit underneath.

Track 7, 'United Divided' and the title track offer signs of hope – the darkness breaking through the sunshine, if you will. On the first, growling, low-tuned guitars and a raw, potent vocal kicks through the bouncy bubblegum that makes up the majority of their sound; while 'You Can't Burn Out If You're Not On Fire' kicks off with a vaguely NWOBHM feel that stalks the song through its breaks and changes, right to the end.

Hopefully a road-to-Damascus, soul-finding moment is just around the corner for this young British band.




Wacken Winter Nights 2018 takes place between February 23rd and 25th 2018 and the great news is that you can now experience a full-on, top class German Metal Festival easily and affordably.

It only takes an hour to fly to Hamburg from London and we've had longer journeys than that within the capital and they were certainly more expensive than the £33 air ticket that just appeared in our 'flights to Wacken Winter Nights' search.


Wacken Winter Nights is organised by the same team who are responsible for the world's greatest Metal festival, Wacken-Open-Air and the 2018 bill includes Skyclad, Orphaned Land, Elvenking, Finntroll, Grave Digger, Aeverium, Comes Vagantes, Coppelius, Corvus Corax, Die Pressgëng, Elvellon, Heimataerde, Hell-O-Matic, Ignis Fatuu, Ingrimm, Irdorath, Johnny Deathshadow, Krayenzeit, Letzte Instanz, Mr Hurley und die Pulveraffen, Pampatut, Pat Razket, Schandmaul, Sündenrausch, The Aberlour's, The Moon And The Nightspirit, Torfrock, Visions Of Atlantis, Vroudenspil, Wind Rose and more.

Besides this rich billing of superb Metal bands, there is so much more to see in the festival area including the medieval market and also the walking acts and jugglers you will meet at the theme worlds, including Robert Blake, three-time World Cup winner of street magic.

Wacken Winter Nights is something not to be missed and you can check out the amazing ticket and accommodation prices right here.

We just priced up the whole four day trip with hotels, flights, shuttles and festival tickets for less than £300 and we don't think you will get a better value festival than that, anywhere.


MetalTalk recently sat down with Wacken founder and owner Thomas Jensen and that interview will be online next week and it's a fascinating insight into how Wacken originated from nothing to become the world's premiere Heavy Metal event.


Wacken 2018 takes place from 2nd to 4th August 20218 and as with Wacken Winter Nights, if you have never experienced all it has to offer, then you owe it to yourself to remedy that.

Already announced for Wacken 2018 are Judas Priest, Nightwish, Running Wild (exclusive), Arch Enemy, Dirkschneider, Doro (Special Anniversary Show), In Extremo, Sepultura, Amorphis, Amaranthe, Firewind, W.A.R., Belphegor, Mantar, Knorkator, Deserted Fear, Watain, Night Demon, Epica, Knorkator, Belphegor, Firewind, Deserted Fear and many more and we'll have more Wacken 2018 announcements during December.

As well as being the greatest Heavy Metal festival in the world, it is without a doubt the Mecca of Metal and the one thing that every single person who loves our music should have on their bucket list.

For 2018, MetalTalk have joined forces with Wacken-Open-Air to help you get to Wacken easily and inexpensively and you can peruse the ticket and travel options right here.

If you are interested in going to Wacken 2018 and have questions, please fill out the form below and we will contact you with answers to all your enquiries. You are under no obligation whatsoever by filling this form out. We won't add you to any mailing lists or send you loads of spam - all we will do is help you get to Wacken as easily and inexpensively as possible.



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