Look Alive – Black Pistol Fire (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

After a year of teasing, tantalising and generally toying with the public via a series of drip-fed singles, Black Pistol Fire have finally dropped their long-awaited album, and it’s a bit of a killer. As they have made clear through these releases – the doom-laden Hope in Hell, the R&B infusions of Temper Temper and the psychedelic inflexions and taut energy of current single Level – genres are not really their concern. But crafting incendiary singles certainly is.

Originally from Toronto but now based in Austin, Texas, this multi-instrumental duo draw their sonic building blocks and wide-ranging influences from a very broad sonic palette, to build an explosive brand of nu-rock and roll. Nu-rock and roll? Rock and roll, because they tick all the boxes that first made people fall for this music for the young and reckless and then kept it both popular and relevant – boxes relating to style and swagger, attitude and energy. Nu, because amongst the usual guitar grind and four-four drum patterns is no small amount of dance groove and synth backdrops, affected sounds and synthetic beats.

Look Alive is the sound of rock and roll moving with the times and here, the music never forgets what it is and where it has come from but at the same time, it fully embraces what it can be.

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