rock

El Pis­tolero Tracer Mas­cot Records ★★★★✩

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Music Reviews -

THE Ade­laide band glar­ing from the al­bum in­sert in the best tra­di­tion of rock grumpi­ness gives a strong hint of what to ex­pect from its lat­est of­fer­ing. El Pis­tolero is a no-non­sense, gui­tardriven mix of grunge and clas­sic rock that com­mands at­ten­tion and should serve as a fur­ther global spring­board for this power trio. The al­bum was pro­duced by vet­eran Kevin Shirley, whose im­pres­sive al­bum cred­its cover a host of Aussie bands and in­ter­na­tional artists rang­ing from Dream The­ater to Joe Bona­massa and Iron Maiden. Shirley has de­cent ma­te­rial to work with from Tracer, which was Clas­sic Rock mag­a­zine’s best new band last year. The pro­ducer has let the band’s prow­ess speak for it­self, with a full sound that bal­ances Mike Brown’s soar­ing vo­cals and dis­torted gui­tar with pow­er­ful rhythm work from drum­mer An­dre Wise and bassist Jett Jey­senHicks. A de­scend­ing chord se­quence launches the al­bum with the punchy El Pis­tolero, the first of four parts of the loosely linked Suite Del Des­per­ado, be­fore pick­ing up speed with the thump­ing Lady

Killer. De­spite the western theme, there aren’t too many Mor­ri­cone mo­ments: Bal­lad of El Pis­tolero at­tempts to get a Latin flavour into the mix and the Doors-like Un­til the War is Won has dis­torted spaghetti western echoes. Some­what out of place, al­though not un­pleas­ant, is the eastern lilt of Hang­man, while high­lights in­clude head­banger

Manic for Ya. The al­bum draws to a sat­is­fy­ing, full­bod­ied retro con­clu­sion with Now I Ride.

Steve Creedy

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