Gun Outfit - Hard Coming Down - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Gun Outfit - Hard Coming Down

by Steve Reynolds Rating:8 Release Date:2013-04-08

Dylan Sharp seeks solace in slacker indie rock and to a degree post rock with his band Gun Outfit and new album 'Hard Coming Down' does nothing to negate this. However it's not a one man show as he happily shares the mic stand with Carrie Keith and lead track 'Flying Low Maria' demonstrates their ambition from the offset with Carrie bleating on "I lost my way with you, hand in hand", it's effectively a break up song, but not scrawled with melancholy and morbid tendencies but sat next to a spanking guitar and driving beat.

Even though Sharp is recognised as the lead member he is not a Black Francis 'hired help' kinda guy and is happy to shy away from the limelight by dishing out the duties. He even has a withdrawn listless twang of a vocal delivery on 'Lau Blues', "all that dignity, you know what I mean". He cleverly merges the laconic Malkmus with the slack jawed Mascis to emasculated levels of lo fi.

The theme is relatively slow paced on the Carrie sung 'High Price To Pay' and there are burning embers of Slint's finest work tangled with her morose deadpan vocal delivery, recalling Mazzy Star at their most stellar. The early 90s indie scene is recalled again on 'I've got a gift', melding the early sounds of Buffalo Tom with Sharp's lifted mellifluous vocal.

Country and C86 crash into each other on 'Young Lord', if anything it's like a My Morning Jacket cast off but that isn't a negative or a slight on the quality of what Gun Outfit do but more of a tribute as the song is a beguiling piece of work. Sharp seems introspective and wistful with his lyrics "through my window, past all the eye can see,…it's never really meant that much to me", there is a kind ship to Bill Callaghan (Smog) and David Berman (Silver Jews) on both his songwriting and delivery style, very healthy company to be held in.

Carrie resumes vocal delivery on 'My love is wanting me' and sounds more country than Country itself with her range expanding across some lip curling lyrics "I'm holding my golden ticket, it's gonna take me for a ride" sung with fragile urgency initially rising to an unerring air of confidence at the later.

When Carrie and Dylan go head to head vocally that's when the cream rises to the top with the advancing 'Death Drive', a collision of breakneck indie and tremolo guitar. Their vocals are chalk and cheese but cop off with each other effortlessly.

As you sift through the album Sharp's voice grows even darker and lyriclly blacker on 'You'll go first' seemingly discussing death in an uncompromising and chilling finale. "You'll be gone at harvest time….they will disappear before the concrete at your feet".

There are gems aplenty on 'Hard Coming down' and in a similar vein to The Men's new album is a journey full of uplifting downbeat guitars and musical linguistics stretched to an endearing level of hedonism.

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