10 Bands That Inspired… indie punks THE BURNT TAPES

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London melodic-punks THE BURNT TAPES just released their new hearty debut full length ‘Don’t Make Me Play Bocelli’ via Wiretap Records and Lockjaw Records and we’re thrilled to give you their unique top-influences list of bands, whose work helped them to craft earworm record and create their own unique brand of melodic punk-rock dubbed ‘regret punk’.

Inspired by emotive heavy-hitters like Iron Chic, Hot Water Music and The Lawrence Arms, Burnt Tapes create stories through gruff vocals, layered melodies and tattoo-worthy lyrical twists. Debut album ‘Never Better’ features 10 tracks of gripping melodic punk, loaded with hooks. The album showcases Burnt Tapes signature gruff dual vocals; exploring the themes of loss, love and self-doubt that Burnt Tapes have made their core. The album is loaded with memorable one-liners, evocative metaphors and lyrical nods to their previous releases.

The album is available on limited-run red, white and blue 12’’ vinyl, plus CD and digital download. You can order it here.

We’ve been a band since 2013 – we’re friends that met in Greece who relocated to London to make music together. We’re exciting to be releasing our first full-length album Never Better on vinyl on 22 February 2019, with a help from our friends at Lockjaw Records and Wiretap Records. Here’s a little list of artists that have have helped me along the way…

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The first band I properly got into. The band I will always go back to. ‘Scared Of The Police’ was doing the rounds on MTV2 and I never looked back. Reuben are incredible songwriters and even better musicians. Guy Davis pretty much inspired me to start drumming, the complexity of his drum parts in almost every song blows my mind. As a band, they covered all bases; pop-party hits, sprawling prog-rock epics, ballads, the lot. I will forever hold out hope for a reunion tour. In my eyes, this band did no wrong, they had everything and they tried everything, a fearless band.

Just set aside 7 minutes and put on ’Suffocation Of The Soul’.

The Menzingers

As a band, these are the guys Burnt Tapes look up to most. The poster boys of punk rock.
I’ve always been a sucker for that Americana sound and the nostalgia that it creates. These guys have it oozing out of every song. The topics they write about are super relatable to a bunch of guys in their early 30s and their storytelling is second to none. Joe Godino is a master at crafting beautifully clean, uncomplicated parts that sit perfectly in every song.

’Casey’ is without doubt the best punk rock song of the last decade. Fight me.

The Wonder Years

There’s a track on ‘Never Better’ (which you can order here) that halfway through writing, we realised had turned into a Wonder Years song. Luckily, they do most things right, so it’s probably a good thing that we take big inspiration from these guys.

’The Greatest Generation’ hit me just at the right time – 2013, working in the US, followed by a road trip down to The Fest. It just sat so perfectly with me at that point in my life; it holds a big place in my heart. Easily in my top 10 albums of all time.

Brand New

For me, Brand New are probably the only band around that has a completely flawless discography. Every album is different, every album has its place and all of them are incredible. From first to last, these guys just got everything right.

Bands have come and gone, but Brand New has always been there. ‘The Devil and God…’ is a monumental album.


People who write into The Independent to rant about the price of Glastonbury tickets call this ‘Dad rock’. The ultimate Dad band. I actually got introduced to this band by my dad, so it all makes sense I guess.

These guys are really different from all the other bands on the list, but are probably the most important to me. Guy Garvey is an incredible vocalist and in terms of lyrics, he runs rings around every single songwriter on this list. He conjures up some absolutely incredible imagery. I struggle to get through ’Scattered Black And Whites’ without shedding a tear.
I’ll be listening to Elbow forever.

Well done, Dad.

Polar Bear Club

I often send up a prayer for poor old Jimmy Stadt. Those first two Polar Bear Club releases saw him at his absolute beastly best, before it all went a bit down hill and his throat fell out. We all got into those records around the same time, during the early days of Burnt Tapes, and I remember often trying to pinch (or blatantly copy!) bits from their songs. I always said that if I could pick any band to sound like, it’d be them.

They’ll be one of the few band that I can guarantee we’ll all be singing along to in the car.
‘His Devotee’ and ‘Convinced I’m Wrong’ are two songs that I will forever have time for.


Along with Reuben, these guys were one of the first bands I really got deep into. ‘Watch Out’ was a big album for me growing up, Dallas Green was the obvious hero, but it was George Pettit and his growl that really opened up a whole new world. I hadn’t really heard and wasn’t really interested in that vocal style before hand, but getting into Alexis led me to start listening to a lot more heavier music that I ended up really loving, they were pivotal in broadening my tastes (standouts being The Bled).
Their weird Instagram activity recently is giving me real hope for some new music from these guys.

Another band with a seriously great discography. I want ‘Happiness By The Kilowatt’ played at my funeral.

The Gaslight Anthem

Basically everything I said about The Menzingers applies here. Phil [Burnt Tapes guitarist/vocalist] got me into these guys just as ‘The 59 Sound’ hit and I spent the best part of the next year only playing their first two albums. Brian Fallon is incredible when it comes to painting those pictures, that nostalgia, good times gone by, youth vanished. And I’m a sucker for looking back and being sad every so often.

As a band, I think we could always be a bit more Gaslight. Simple and catchy. My go to band for a long lonely drive.


Another band that I picked up fairly early on, along with Alexisonfire. They never quite hit the heights of the rest of the bands on this list for me. Their second album was great but the main reason I had to mention them was because of ‘Define The Great Line’. An album that to this day continues to blow my mind. An absolute epic. Everything on this album was done perfectly, everyone wanted to be Aaron Gillespie and it defined a scene that was at its peak. A timeless album that I still play along to when pretending to be Aaron Gillespie.

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Ryan Adams

I don’t write songs but if I did I’d want them all to sound like Ryan Adams songs. A brilliant brilliant songwriter, a true heartbreaker. I keep trying to push Phil down the Ryan Adams path, god knows the damage he could do after listening to ‘Love is Hell’ with a bottle of tequila in hand. The subtlety of his band and his lyrics provide a real lesson in simple but effective songwriting.

He churns out hits like theres no tomorrow and he’s releasing three albums this year.
Phil’s got a lot of work to do.

Well, there we go. If you want to hear music that probably sounds nothing like any of these artists, go ahead and check out our new album ’Never Better’.

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