Release Date: Nov 10, 2017
Record label: Paradise of Bachelors
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock
Punks gone country. They take all kinds of forms: Lightning-fast thrashgrass band. Gravel-throated, neck-tattooed troubadour. Social D-indebted twang-rock hybrid. If this idea doesn't resonate with you, visit the American West. They're everywhere. Gun Outfit are from the West, but they take a ….
Gun Outfit explore the calm expanse of cosmic Americana without a journey's end in mind. The Olympia, Washington band have operated with a workmanlike consistency for five albums now, offering a warm, translucent tint to their rootsy instrumental choices that rewards with patience and commitment. They've since relocated to Los Angeles, and in the progress, have gradually tempered their more rambunctious early sound with a leisurely atmosphere that conforms to their desert surroundings.
In 2016, The Guardian coined the term "cosmic Americana" for a loose collection of musicians who are inspired by folk, country and psychedelia. One of those artists, Steve Gunn, has since requested that the term in question be "shot into a far region of outer space", which is exactly how sensitive artists are supposed to react to such pigeonholing. Speaking of shooting, that article neglected to mention LA's Gun Outfit; a glaring oversight because they're easily among the best of the bunch.
Gun Outfit singer-guitarist Dylan Sharp describes the sandstone butte, that archetypal desert platform as, "...the only stage on which our kind of puritanical decadence can successfully perform the irony of its existence." On their newest work, he and co-founder Carrie Keith are willfully Out of Range--from cell service and pop culture frenzy, honoring instead the timelessness of Western expanse. Aligning your art with such iconography as a means of dismissing the digital sandstorms that sweep said art into consumer consciousness is a bold profession. It's a mission statement at worst construed as pretentious and grandiose, and at best a bit naive.
Out of Range, the fifth long-player from Los Angeles' Gun Outfit, delves deeper into the dusty "Western expanse" phase that they initiated on 2015's Dream All Over and explored more fully a year later on the Two Way Player EP. Based around the core songwriting duo of Dylan Sharp and Carrie Keith, the group's noisy post-punk genesis in rainy Olympia, Washington feels light years away from the loose desert rock meditations that now seem so easily coaxed from their heavily reverbed guitars. Since drying out in L.A.
Photo by Joane Kim Out of Range by Gun Outfit Gun Outfit's sound is somnolent and surreal, trance-y arcs of slide guitar jetting out over a bedrock jangle. There's a trace of alt-Americana in the note-bending drone, which might remind you of MV+EE or D. Charles Speer, but also an ambient indie pop glow that sounds a lot like Yo La Tengo in spots or even Low.