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Flux Capacitor

by The Burning Hell

  • Streaming + Download

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
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      $8 CAD


  • Flux Capacitor clear vinyl LP
    Record/Vinyl + Digital Album

    We have a few copies left of the clear vinyl pressing (only 500 were made). Get one before your neighbours and co-workers do.

    Includes unlimited streaming of Flux Capacitor via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.

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  • Re-issue of the original 2011 album on Compact Disc
    Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    Comes in a digipak with artwork by Gabe Foreman. Actual flux capacitor not included.

    Includes unlimited streaming of Flux Capacitor via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.

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my name is mathias and i came to say this: i’ve got a big bushy beard and kissable lips. and i carry all my fat in my ass and my hips, the rest of me is skinny as a stick. in the sixties my mom was hip and mini-skirted. she was raised as a catholic but then she converted, ‘cause she loved my dad’s religion and she loved him too. and that’s how i was born a jew. they lived and went to school in buffalo, but my dad decided that they had to go. the vietnam war would not be good for his health, and that’s how i was born in the commonwealth. where we’re born and when we die: we can’t control that. and life in between is just war and combat. there are targets you can shoot for and mines to circumvent, but most of life is an accident. i’ve spent time in peterborough and in winnipeg, but leaving is living if you just use your legs. everywhere is nice if you drink enough beer, so some days i’m there and some days i’m here. but it’s not about sowing my wild oats or whatever. i sowed my oats when i was young and i thought i was clever, and my oats all rotted in the field where they lay. so i’m oatless and unemployed these days. but i have a ukulele and i have a guitar, though i don’t have a house or a kid or a car. i’d like to keep it that way for as long as i can but you know what they say about the best laid plans. where we’re born and when we die: we can’t control that. and life in between is just war and combat. there are targets you can shoot for and mines to circumvent, but most of life is an accident. and an accident is something that you don’t plan, like the Y chromosome between a woman and a man. one day i might get hit by a bus or get cancer, but right now all i am is a fabulous dancer. so dance with me baby, put your hands on my hips, kiss my aforementioned kissable lips. wherever we are, baby that’s where we’re at. my name is mathias, and i came to say that.
Nostalgia 03:42
the compact disc was the wave of the future, i had my first kiss and i liked it ok. april and i slow-danced to the cocktail soundtrack and kokomo is still my favourite song to this day. remember when john stamos played the drums in the beach boys? that’s the kind of thing that happened back then: musicians guested on sitcoms and actors made albums. the late eighties was a fantastic time to be ten. and one night i was watching the lost boys with a girl who i liked and her friends and when the vampires attacked the hippies on the beach she said she had a crush on kiefer sutherland. and so for a while i wanted to be a vampire - a vampire like kiefer, not like the guy who played max. but my favourite scene was tim cappello at the boardwalk when he played that shirtless solo on his golden sax. in retrospect it all seems spectacular. and i’d love to go back but i broke my flux capacitor. and i tell ya, it’s just nostalgia. it’s as vague as a disease like fibromyalgia. but instead of unexplained pain, it’s unexplained pleasure, buried deep in your brain, like pirate treasure. i know there’s lots that i’m forgetting. but i choose to remember the music and the heavy petting. i think there was some heartbreak and some humiliation, which i guess is a part of a well-rounded education. god knows it wasn’t all rainbows and puppy dogs back then, around the time the eighties waited for the nineties to begin. but what good is an imagination if you can’t pretend? because after all it’ll never be that good again.
when you disappear in a photograph of yourself stuck to your guitar at your parents’ prom, and you know you’ve got to play that perfect chord but your fingers slip and all the notes are wrong. your hands are half invisible and your band is freaking out and your future mom and dad don’t know that’s who they are, but then future dad finds courage and kisses future mom: is that god, or just your skills on the guitar? either way, the results are equal, so just accept it, just be glad. it doesn’t matter until the sequel, when the good old days go bad. everybody needs a genius scientist to tell them what to do, or at least a teleprompter to remind them of their lines. but sometimes you get so wrapped up in the narrative arc you forget the details of the plot from time to time. and sometimes the other actors just can’t memorize their cues, and you don’t always have the budget for a second take. but as long as you can concoct some semi-plausible happy end it doesn’t matter if the happy ending’s fake. like an anvil, a harmless anvil - a harmless anvil that falls in a cartoon. like the footprint of an astronaut in a photo of the surface of the moon. so roll the credits, cue the music, turn on the lights. count the receipts and close the cash up for the night. find a teenage boy to sweep up all the popcorn from the aisles. i’ve had enough entertainment for a while. it’s time to go now, but don’t be scared. take the wheel while i punch in the code. it doesn’t matter, we don’t need cars. where we’re going we don’t need roads.
in every folk tale, in every book, there is a hero or a heroine. and there is a witch or a troll or a crook or an evil stepmother or just a general villain. and i remember reading when i was young and i always felt sorry for the bad ones and the tricksters. i never identified with the little lost kids, but maybe that’s ‘cause i didn’t have brothers or sisters. and so when the witch died i cried ‘cause i didn’t want them to hurt her - likewise when the troll got tricked and when the dragon got killed. and i hated the part when the wolf got ax-murdered, and the moral of the story always left me unfulfilled. and i was not a sociopath i was a six-year-old who could tell the difference between good and bad - a little boy with built in ethics who didn’t need to be told that it was wrong to be mean to your mom or to lie to your dad. but i knew if i had to choose sides i’d probably pick the empire; i hated ewoks and i loved the death star. and i never felt sorry for the last unicorn - i always thought that song needed a lot more guitar. and i did not grow up to be a serial killer, though there are a few people on my list, and whenever i see a child reading a book about a boy-wizard i find myself grinding my teeth and clenching my fists and i want to say ‘hey kid here’s a bedtime story for you: the wicked witch wins and the orphans lose. they did everything right and now they’re orphan fondue. the moral of the story is you don’t always get to choose
Report Card 02:40
from the time of forceps and surgical gloves to the time of failed marriages and then back to surgical gloves can be a long time, or it can be a very short time. sometimes we are loved and sometimes we are judged. and in the absence of any binding moral code and no st. peter we’re always on the lookout for new good behaviour meters, like gold stars and scotland yard and report cards, like kisses and flashing knives, like the highest of high fives. so here goes: i’m not working to potential, i’m barely there and do the barest of bare essentials. i know i don’t play well with others, but as think i’ve pointed out i never had a sister, never had a brother, though i have an excellent father and mother and i know they’ll sign my report card. so here is my sensitive side, here is my underbelly hide, my weak spot, soft and white, and in dragon versus knight this is the part where you slay me and take my treasure, never mind that i never terrorized your virgins or set your village alight. there is a wrong and there is a right. but give me an A for effort, it’s not like i didn’t try.
once i had religion, but then somewhere i lost it. now i’m just a handsome devil of a jewish born-again agnostic. but sometimes you have to let things slip away. god murdered all the unicorns when the rain filled up the world, but they survive airbrushed on shirts and tattooed on the ankles of girls. and the girls they go to parties, they drink diet coke and rum. and they hold each other’s hair back and they cry when they’re all done. and they turn to each other and say sometimes you have to let things slip away. everything you have right now you will lose someday. anyone can be a musician or go into municipal politics. but it takes a dame named diane or jane to be a famous primatologist. the primatologist says the chimpanzee is as smart as you and me, and the chimp doesn’t cry when a character dies in a book or on tv. because all the chimpanzees know that sometimes you have to let things slip away. everything you have right now you will lose someday. loss is the boss, and you get laid off every day. sometimes you have to let things slip away. and the whiskey rabbi says ‘hey college boy, you should put a bridge in this song’. i said ‘geoff, songwriting’s what you know best, but i think that that would make it too long’. sometimes you have to let things slip away. everything you have right now you will lose someday. today’s hit song is tomorrow’s tired cliche, but sometimes you have to let things slip away.
Pirates 02:13
well the pirates are all tired, it’s time to give up life at sea. they’ve all bought property in the neighbourhood, they’ll be living next to you and me. the pta had a meeting today about the children and they don’t know what to do, and the clergymen say what about the church, then? and the cops are shaking in their boots. st. francis doesn’t have a chance, this is not fair this is not right. you landlubbers, lock your cupboards, keep your daughters out of sight. those pirates have chlamydia, and their hair is full of lice. and in a few short weeks this nice little town will be ridden with sin and vice. there won’t be many smiling faces and things will get a little out of hand. yo-ho, make way for chaos when the pirates come to land. their clothes are strange, and i heard they never change, and their names are hard to say. and once they come and settle down, they’ll never go away. who knows, they might be murderers or pedophiles or godless communists. or worse, they might be democrats and we just can’t take that risk. ‘cause with every eye patch, every skull and cross-bones flag, every funny pointed hat and every sword, there’s one more reason to show them all the door.
cheryl had a dog named skip that she loved to bits. he had big sad eyes and he was gentle around the kids. he could do tricks that would amaze you, but he developed hip dysplasia. the veterinarian said ‘it’s surgery or euthanasia.’ cheryl asked how much would it cost to get skip sorted. the vet said if you have to ask then you can’t afford it. well, she could barely make the rent. she said ‘skip, you know you’re my best friend’. and she made sure he couldn’t see the needle at the end. she hummed the bass line to ‘north window’ by the inbreds just to keep from crying. she took the bus downtown ‘cause she was too upset to drive. once upon a time there was a ten year old boy named dave. he liked cars and karate and he hardly ever misbehaved. he got it into his little boy head that he didn’t want to eat anything dead. he told his parents ‘no meat, just french fries and bread’. dave’s daddy was a dude who didn’t deal with dissent too good. he said ‘while you’re under my roof i want this clearly understood: you’ll eat whatever mama is making, be it beef baby back ribs or bacon’. he slammed his fist down on the table so hard it set the silverware shaking. dave got sent to his room and he lay on his bed and said i wonder where my real parents are and he cried himself to sleep under a ceiling full of glow in the dark stars. if there are victory bells we should ring them. if there are victory songs we should sing them ‘cause we are the kings of the animal kingdom.
i suffered from a stroke of genius, i woke to find my stupid side paralyzed. but albert e said we are all equally foolish before god, and equally wise. einstein’s sideline was coming up with quips and cracks, notable quotes and epigrams and if physics was a ball sport well then al got the big grand slam. lou gehrig hit 23 in his career - that’s a record no-one can get near. and everybody knows what happened then: lou had a whole disease named after him. life is a comedian who used to be funny but then became a born-again christian. now it’s all punch and no punch lines and he calls his routine his mission. and he doesn’t understand the difference between laughing at and laughing with him. knock knock. who’s there? boo. boo who? why are you crying?
Early Bird 02:18
you know that expression about the early bird vis-à-vis the worm? i’m always the last bird to get the memo, the last bird to get the word. the other birds all say ‘hey, you missed the early bird train’ and all i can say is ‘tweet tweet, i must have slept in again’. when opportunity knocks at my door it plays knock knock ginger, nicky nicky nine doors - that game where you knock and then run away like a ninja. they say the early bird gets the worm but the second mouse gets the cheese, from under the corpse of his mouse brother. i guess the second mouse is me.


released May 1, 2011

Flux Capacitor was recorded in Newfoundland in the late winter of 2011 by James Anderson, at Henge Studios in St. John’s, the Church of the Ascension in Chance Cove, and the Anderson A-Frame in Bellevue Beach. Additional recording was done at 6 Nassau in Toronto by James Anderson. The whole thing was produced by James Anderson and Mathias Kom, and mastered by Harris Newman at Grey Market Mastering in Montreal. Cover art by Gabe Foreman, layout and design by Leigh Kotsilidis. Played by: Mathias Kom, Ariel Sharratt, Alison Corbett, Natasha Hartery, Darren ‘Boobie’ Browne, Jake Nicoll, John Duff, Katie Baggs, and James Anderson, with special guests Penelope, Obediah and Elwood Anderson. Knowing nods and winks to Geoff Berner, the Inbreds and Construction & Destruction. All songs written by Mathias Kom copyright 2011 except ‘One Works Days, One Works Nights’ written by David Trenaman and used by kind permission. All songs SOCAN, all rights reserved, all dogs go to heaven.


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The Burning Hell

The Burning Hell is the ongoing musical project of songwriter Mathias Kom and multi-instrumentalists Ariel Sharratt and Jake Nicoll, often including additional comrades and collaborators.

Their densely populated genre-shifting songs are packed with an abundance of literary, historical, cultural, and pop-cultural forebears, heroes and villains, subjects and objects, stories and hooks.
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