A Burial at Sea is ready for Kansas City, but is KC ready for this post-Salt the Earth swim in deeper waters?

Getting Serious 

A Burial at Sea is ready for Kansas City, but is KC ready for this post-Salt the Earth swim in deeper waters?

A Burial at Sea wants you to know that it is not Salt the Earth. Despite sharing the same principal songwriter in guitarist and singer Marty Bush, Burial's sound is the polar opposite of Salt's abrasive, hooky rock, which drew comparisons to the Casket Lottery and At the Drive-In. Instead, the band's music drowns in lilting, jangly guitars, organs, horns and lonesome melodies. That's why it isn't surprising that Burial has played often in Lawrence since forming last year but has yet to venture to Kansas City for a gig.

"We're nervous because we don't know how KC will take us," Bush says. "This is definitely a hard-rock town." Indeed, Burial's laid-back sound evokes Pedro the Lion, Seam, Damien Jurado, Neil Young — hardly the most popular style in a town that loves its filthy rock and baggy-pants metal. But the band is determined to make it or break it in Kansas City, where most of its members now live.

"The reason I moved up here was for Burial," says drummer Jimmy Reed. "I quit my 40-grand-a-year job to move up here and work door at a bar." Reed laughs as he and Bush exchange housing-situation horror stories. (Reed immigrated last year from Texarkana, Texas; Bush moved from Lawrence about six months ago.)

"I woke up one morning in September, completely naked, to find a middle-aged man going through my dresser," Bush says. He says he chased the man out of his apartment with a nine-iron. "It turns out my landlord had broken into the apartment thinking no one was home. Welcome to Kansas City!"

Reed's troubles, on the other hand, are causing him to lead a double life.

"I'm not supposed to be living at my apartment, so I have to pretend to be my roommate's gay lover," Reed says with a smirk. "We started a drunken, gay, secret society."

These tales of merry pranksters living it up in their midtwenties, however, don't make it into the band's music.

Shawn Lamoreaux (with whom Bush played in pre-Salt the Earth band Mechanic for Captain) and bassist Marc Pepperman round out Burial's lineup. They've recorded a demo of morose yet curiously optimistic, melodic tracks peppered with horn flourishes. This bands' songs, Bush says, "come more from the heart than the groin."

The conversation, however, is a different matter.

"You should see Emogame.com," Reed interrupts. "It's fucking hilarious — Steven Tyler donkey-punches Robbie Pope and kidnaps the Get Up Kids and forces anal sex on them." (Actually, Tyler sodomizes and throat-fucks Pope, but why split hairs?) Bush jumps in: "I would piss on Steven Tyler."

At this point, Pepperman calls Bush to ask about practice. Reed looks up, concerned. "Are we rehearsing tomorrow? Thank God."

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