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Monday, May 19, 2008

CD Review: God's Revolver - Little Black Horse Where Are You Going Without Your Rider?

God's Revolver - Little Black Horse Where Are You Going Without Your Rider?
2007 Exigent Records
Ray Van Horn, Jr.



Where in fuck is Provo, you might ask? Assuredly it's not the island otherwise abbreviated from Providenciales. Nope, we're talking Utah, site of the HBO polygamist series that beat recent headlines in Texas, Big Love. Of course, there's hardly anything fundamentalist about Provo's own God's Revolver, a loud and deliberately obnoxious crew of Southern rock-fused hellraisers who play with wreckless punk abandon and yelp with glass-choked caterwauling apparently inspired by late night isolation and the hairs of a three-legged dog.

Somehow, though, God's Revolver manages to glue their smash mouth rowdiness with external influneces ranging from alternative to North American tribal, both exemplified in "The Holy Breath" where you get Pixies-like guitar screeching and a lumbering tempo along with native fluting and brackish vocals from Reid Rouse, who sounds like Jim Morrison on a peyote trip and forced to slog through "The Crystal Ship" to a disaffected 10-member audience.

What's especially cool about God's Revolver is their blatant unpredictability. Go on, I dare you to peg these guys into a snug category; they're like that plastic trepezoid piece little kids are fooled into thinking goes into the diamond hole on their bumble balls until they learn better. As "Scratch Dealt Me a Dirty Hand" is like the soundtrack to a bar scrap between skinheads and truckers, "Iron Fuck" itches along nervously with an anxious mid-tempo rhythm while guitarists Trey Gardner and Jon Larsen pick, pluck and twang accordingly, leaving Reid Rouse to wail insanely by himself until joining him in a soaky gang chorus later on.

Be prepared, because Little Black Horse Where Are You Going Without Your Rider? is intentionally nutty with its bluesy chain gang ode "Boxes Done Buried," which comes off almost spiritually with its acoustic verses, hand claps, haunted whistles and steel rattles until Rouse vomits all over the damned thing. You're either going to laugh or you're going going to go "What the bloody hell?" In fact, the longer this album goes on, what you're hearing is on the borderline of brilliance as God's Revolver coughs up some shrewd and slick melody lines while their vociferous frontman who sounds like a bottle-captured Glenn Danzig and Bobcat Goldthwait swill just coughs his ever-loving guts out.

Personification in full on "Drown Your Fucking Sorrows!" as God's Revolver's rhythm section produces steady grooves and occasional nerve splinters, while Reid Rouse goes berserk in response. By the time his band ups the ante on the opening bars of "Eagle in Reverse," Rouse has figuratively spewed his load before the song scales down in tempo and allows him to savor his vocal climax, jerking off in tandem with string tugs and echoey reverb. All in preparation for the album's finale "Roca Del Desierto," which begins with a serene acoustic intro and finishes brutally and bombastically as if suffering a case of inflicted snakebite.

In some ways, Little Black Horse Where Are You Going Without Your Rider? is going to require a patient ear, but it's the textures beneath the bluntness that makes this one worth the trip. Do a shot or two of tequila while watching an old Jack Palance western before listening and you'll probably get right into God's Revolver's mindframe.

Rating: ****

5 comments:

DPTH International said...

Great review! Very poetic ....

Ray Van Horn, Jr. said...

thanks, man, I had a ton of fun writing it...sometimes the eccentric albums bring out the best in me, lol...

bevrgrl said...

I too reviewed this album and can I just say WOW! It's been a long time since a band inspired me to fit 72 adjectives in one sentence!

Great review!!! I very much enjoyed reading it. I can't stop suggesting them to people I know!

Anonymous said...

Fun to read, but with one huge oversight. The album is actually called "little black horse where are you going with your dead rider" ...

Jones said...

Fun to read, but with one huge oversight. The album is actually called "little black horse where are you going with your dead rider" ...