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Black Pistol Fire

Black Pistol Fire Drop Video For "Look Alive"

Kevin McKeown and Eric Owen may have grown up in North Toronto, but the work they’ve done as duo Black Pistol Fire does honor to their adopted home. Their latest video, “Look Alive,” is pure Austin -- a little bit hick, a little bit hipster, plenty of punk. Their signature straight-ahead rhythm and fat, fuzzed-out guitar sound are still on display, but “Look Alive” shows a few flourishes to stand out from the pack of Jack White acolytes.

“Look Alive” is strongest when it starts, benefiting from a welcome dose of psychedelia courtesy of delayed guitar and some suitably opaque spoken word, but then things chug into straightforward rock that’s a shade predictable after the fun intro. Still, “Look Alive” sticks close to an appealing 70s-freakout sound without ever being too Tangerine Dream to move bodies or too Winters Brothers to blow minds. Black Pistol Fire know their influences and show them due reverence while adding a stylish spin of their own.

The video for “Look Alive” is as dead-on as its soundtrack, mixing a grizzled actor, some garish green screen and the de rigeur muscle car to great effect, even if it might look a tiny bit like the boat scene from “Willy Wonka” from time to time. 

But seriously, folks. Black Pistol Fire is a must for anyone into rock purism with a thick, distorted edge. White Stripes and Black Keys fans should check this out yesterday. If “Look Alive” is any indication, they’re sweetening their professionalism with a welcome dose of weird. And if that keeps up, Black Pistol Fire could rank with the best pure rock bands in town.

- Matt Salter


Black Pistol Fire Brings that Fresh Blues

Black Pistol Fire splits their time between Toronto and Austin, bringing their jamming cross between southern blues and garage rock both north and south.  There's no doubt that these guys could probably be mistaken for The Black Keys; singer Kevin McKeown's vocals sound like an uncanny mix between Jack White and Dan Aurbach, but there's something to be said about the two person band that really brings it.  Anyways, this genre of music is too enjoyable not to shrug off their similarities to any other band.  Besides, they're doing the blues right so what more can a music lover ask for?  BPF takes us back, and reminds us that every rock band we hear today came from blues in some shape or form, and thank god there are those who continue to carry out the tradition. -Jake Saunders



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