Black Pistol Fire

Don't Wake the Riot (Modern Outsider)

Texas Platters

The blues is ancient, but some acts reinvigorate it for a new millennium. While these locals come by way of Canada, singer/guitarist Kevin McKeown and drummer Eric Owen brandish the genre with a wild-eyed ferocity and Southern toughness on fourth studio album Don't Wake the Riot. The album continues to find comfort in the duo's Texas roadhouse hoedowns and bayou R&B drawls, a raw-boned and unhinged quality that separates them from their all-American beer commercial counterparts, the Black Keys. Album opener "Storm Cussin'" finds McKeown's hollowbody warbling Seventies riffs and dust-devil fuzz, Owen getting heavy with strained half-time beats. The intensity never falters: clapping county-line rocker "Hard Luck," Southern ballad "Bad Blood," barroom brawler "Fleet Foot," and bludgeoning barn burner "Copperhead Kiss." Much like 2014's Hush or Howl and 2015's self-titled effort, Don't Wake the Riot repudiates any need for change with a stubborn resolution to stick to Texas blues. Why trade in a vintage truck if it rides so clean?

***

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 36 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More Black Pistol Fire
Texas Platters
Black Pistol Fire
Deadbeat Graffiti (Record Review)

Alejandra Ramirez, Oct. 27, 2017

Poutine
Poutine
A heaping helping of Canadian challenge called Black Pistol Fire

Chase Hoffberger, Oct. 10, 2014

More Music Reviews
Texas Platters
Bright Light Social Hour
Jude Vol. 1 (Record Review)

Alejandra Ramirez, Feb. 8, 2019

Texas Platters
Charlie Faye & the Fayettes
The Whole Shebang (Record Review)

Libby Webster, Feb. 8, 2019

More by Alejandra Ramirez
The Best Albums of 2018 by Genre
The Best Albums of 2018 by Genre
Hip-hop, metal, pop, and more picks from our critics

Dec. 28, 2018

Best Live Music Performances of 2018
Best Live Music Performances of 2018
The bands and venues that kept our critics on their feet

Dec. 28, 2018

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Black Pistol Fire

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle