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Please Please You presents...

Gun Outfit

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Dream All Over, the fourth full-length album by the cinematically-minded Los Angeles rock and roll band Gun Outfit—and their first with Paradise of Bachelors—describes a comparable flickering and dimming of dreams, that moment when the lights go up, and the temporary relief of sleep’s imaginary displays dissolves into stark, deadening lucidity.

On their most refined and ruefully elegant album, Gun Outfit perfect their incandescent sonic signature: a dusky, canyon-cult blues fueled by melodic dual-guitar weaving and seductive male/female incantations at zero hour. It’s the nocturnal sound of desert-damaged L.A. burnout, a soured American surrealism in rock and roll creole: white line fever, paint fume flashbacks, a stranger wading out alone into the black surf.

Gun Outfit paint an oblique and dangerous picture of their relatively new home in California, the dialogues of singers Carrie Keith (guitar, vocals, slide) and Dylan Sharp (guitar, vocals, banjo, balalaika) throw off a muted, wary carnal heat, the lingering afterimage of spent desire. The inscape drawn through Dream All Over navigates the dark side of the moon—the Hollywood Babylon L.A. of Kenneth Anger and David Lynch, Father Yod and Charlie Manson, muscle cars and drought—as reflected upon a pair of road-weary human hearts. As Dylan sings in 'Only Ever Over', “Out here on the West coast where the ocean eats the sun / We’ve known for a long time the end’s already come.”

The band members, all of whom have made or worked on their own and others’ low-budget, homebrew art films in various capacities, draw from the syntax and systems of cinema, in two senses: the songs invoke imagistic memories and unfold like dreams unremembered upon waking, but they also rely on staunchly collaborative team processes. The unmistakable rhythm section of Daniel Swire (drums, percussion) and Adam Payne (bass, also of Residual Echoes) fuel Dylan and Carrie’s spacious, enmeshed guitar work with a corporeal throb, and all decisions are democratically decided. Friend and mentor Henry Barnes (Amps for Christ/Man Is the Bastard) plays three different homemade electric sitars on the record. Facundo Bermudez (Ty Segall, No Age) engineered and co-produced.

Although reared in the realm of hardcore punk aesthetics, these days Gun Outfit bears a greater sonic and songwriterly kinship to the likes of Lee Hazlewood or Blaze Foley than to anything released in the heyday of the SST label. But there is an unspoken understanding throughout their recordings, but pointedly so on Dream All Over, that punk rock is folk music, certainly as much as honky-tonk belongs to the American folk tradition.

On their most refined and ruefully elegant album, Gun Outfit perfect their incandescent sonic signature: a dusky, canyon-cult blues fueled by melodic dual-guitar weaving and seductive male/female incantations at zero hour. It’s the nocturnal sound of desert-damaged L.A. burnout, a soured American surrealism in rock and roll creole: white line fever, paint fume flashbacks, a stranger wading out alone into the black surf.

'Wonderfully evocative, channeling a line of road-worn blues that exudes Zen-like calm and collectedness. Sublimely textured guitars spin off one another into an ether of faded memory, next to skeletal patches of warm, crawling psychedelia. One of the most overlooked guitar bands going.'

 

Jenn Pelly, Pitchfork, 8.1

'While worthy of dissertations in multiple academic disciplines, one need not require a degree to appreciate Dream All Over. The peerless Gun Outfit maps out its own musical cartography, be it a seaside drive with the top down or a globetrotting carpet ride via the liberal use of sitars courtesy of Henry Barnes, the evaporating songs of Sharp and Keith transport listeners on a ride that’s a treasure to behold.'

Pop Matters, 8/10

'Lo-fi and understated, the twin vocals of Dylan Sharp and Carrie Keith are strong throughout.'

Uncut, 4/5

Monday 15th February 2016

Price: £6 advance (+stbf)

Doors 19:30

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