Kevin McKeown and Eric Owen took a chance in moving to Austin, Texas. They lived in poverty, and according to their Facebook page, consistently had to rely on eating potatoes. But after the duo came up with new material in a rented garage, their live performance attracted the attention of Jim Diamond, who has worked with The White Stripes. Diamond recorded the two man band’s first LP.
In the second track “Suffocation Blues,” the guitar riff channels Hendrix with its ferocious tone and grime. There’s a funky feel to the guitar with a repetitive, but still shred-worthy riff. But whether it’s the first or second track, at some point any listener will come to the conclusion they are hearing a gifted guitar player. McKeown seems to just have a knack for transitioning to effective bridges that build up to make a thunderous chorus.
As friends since kindergarten, McKeown and drummer Owen have the same type of chemistry heard on the LP. Owen knows when to cool things down and let the guitar carry the rhythm, and when to add a unique fill to keep the song just as unique. The two create a southern rock style with danceable rhythms and drum beats that make any listener feel they should be at a barn dance.
In “Without Love,” McKeown has another Hendrix resemblance in the chorus, where he shows off why Black Pistol Fire has entertained crowds live in Texas. He breaks out with a yell that suits his explosive riff by saying “Without Love.” This emotion carries over carries over into the next track “Bottle Rocket,” has McKeown claiming he “is like a bottle rocket burning at both ends, you gotta treat me gently or I’ll go off in your hands.” This shows McKeown’s ability to also write creative lyrics to go with his riffs.
LISTEN: “Cold Sun”
WPGU Music Staff Rating: W-P-G-½
Key Tracks: “Without Love”, “Cold Sun”, and “Jackknife Darlin’”.
Recommended if you like: The Black Keys, No Age, and Harlem.
W = Poor
W-P = Fair
W-P-G = Great
W-P-G-U = An instant classic!