Crushing Metal: Burr Buzzes Alongside Don’t Grow Old

Nefarious Industries serves up a new pairing with Burr and Don’t Grow Old 

Casey Belisle, Mike Dantowitz, and Justin Enis (L to R) of the band Burr and Providence coffee roaster Bolt (photo credit: Burr)

Long used for pulverizing minerals, the burr mill transformed food production by improving the consistency of ground grains, corn, and coffee. At Bolt Coffee’s Providence flagship (61 Washington St.), barista Casey Belisle, assistant roaster Mike Dantowitz, and coffee director Justin Enis wield a Mythos grinder manufactured by Nuova Simonelli for espresso and an EK43 from Mahlkonig for filtered coffee. The motorized models replicate the mechanics of a handheld salt or pepper mill, crushing beans into the grinds that — with the ratio of water, its temperature, and brew time — define the flavor profile of a cup of coffee. Too fine of a grind increases the likelihood of a sludgier or bitter taste, whereas too coarse of a grind can contribute to a weak or watery brew. On the sound system at Bolt’s roastery (96 Calverey St.), Belisle, Dantowitz, and Enis share an appreciation for heavier, slower grinds, like the sounds of Electric Wizard, Thou, and Yob. With a nod to their trade, they apply a similar precision to metal with their band, Burr.

Founded in 2017, Burr, the band, started out as an afterwork jam session at Belisle’s studio space in Central Falls. 

“We got the name Burr by trying to find a coffee term that sounded like a doom name,” said Enis. “We love our burr grinders and their ability to create a more narrow ‘particle distribution’ allowing the brewer to achieve a higher extraction with more sweetness when dialed in.”

Dantowitz played guitar in Tape Eater and other New Bedford punk and hardcore bands, Belisle set the drumbeat for the quirky mathrock of 14foot1 and lighter projects like Roz and the Rice Cakes, and Enis entered the University of Rhode Island as a jazz bass major and went on to make up half of the duo SONGS. After two years playing together as Burr, on the eve of Thanksgiving in 2019, they released their debut, Radial Alignment, on Bandcamp. With tracks like “Touch of Cream” and “Spent Grounds” teasing their careers in coffee, the band’s heaving instrumentals conjured raw notes of Pelican and Russian Circles. The Covid-19 landscape introduced a more serious edge to their songwriting. Six months into the throes of the pandemic, Burr returned to Big Nice Studio (25 Carrington St., Lincoln) where audio engineer Bradford Krieger refined a punishing single. Their latest release, a six-minute dirge on a split 7” with Don’t Grow Old, is now available from Philadelphia-based label, Nefarious Industries.

“We all were feeling tired, angry, anxious, frustrated, scared—” said Enis. “We hope that listeners can feel the trough of the pandemic and social issues in ‘Particle Distribution.’”

While Burr whirs through a penetrating doom, New Bedford’s Don’t Grow Old sound like they grew up on the blistering constraint of Botch and Jane Doe-era Converge. 
The idea for the joint project emerged after the bands shared a bill in New Bedford. A follow-up date at AS220 (115 Empire St., Providence) with Losst and Cyttorak fell victim to Covid-19 cancellations, but on October 16th the bands reunited for their record release party at ​​the Paradise McFee Gallery (104 William St, New Bedford). The following Monday morning, the members of Burr were back to the grind at Bolt.

Limited Edition Double Band Pairing

Burr and Don’t Grow Old’s split 7” is available as a limited release from Nefarious Industries