January 24, 2021

It’s not so often that you get albums by duos with just the two musicians represented and not a guest musician in sight but that is what we have here with this pairing of vocalist/guitarist Kevin McKeown and drummer/bass and synth player Eric Owen. Both are originally from Toronto in Canada but are now long time residents of Austin, Texas and they have used the ten years there to refine their sound and make a niche for themselves on the local rock scene. They have previously released five albums with the last of these being Deadbeat Graffiti in 2017 but have released recently released six digital singles, five of which feature on this new album, Look Alive. Overkill or whetting the appetite, you decide but this is the digital age and most bands now release a song or two prior to the official release date of a new album.

It seems that McKeown and Owen were are at school together and they have developed a very close relationship which spills over into their music and you can tell that there is a spiritual connection or even telepathic if you will which makes for a very tight ship with every note is in exactly the right place. It really does come as a surprise that there are only the two musicians here as the sound if full, well developed and all encompassing. Maybe it is something that Canadian bands excel at given the power output from some of the incredible three piece bands from that part of the world i.e. Rush, Triumph and Pat Travers. The band specialises in explosive, indie/garage rock with just the right amount of incendiary blues giving the music a special life, soul and integrity. The songs are all in the 3 to 4 minute mark being melodic and commercial enough to make it an easy listening album but there is a dark underbelly too as the band explores the imperfect world that we live in. Kevin McKeown has a soulful, insistent voice with a touch of the Bryan Adams about it and Europe should be a market that opens up to this rather intelligent band that plays with the just the right amount of rock ‘n’ roll allied to a certain pop sensibility. The instruments are all played in a pleasing yet understated way so everything hits the right mark but there are few histrionics to distract from the tales that the band lay out for you. Look Alive is a gorgeous and rich tapestry from two musicians who know what they want and exactly how to do it. Sit back, press play and prepare to be swept away by the lush and sweet rock of Black Pistol Fire, a band we are certain to hear more from in the future.

Look Alive track list

  1. Look Alive (3:12)
  2. Pick Your Poison (3:45)
  3. Holdin’ Up (3:06)
  4. Never Enough (4:03)
  5. Wildfire (3:30)
  6. Hope In Hell (4:27)
  7. Black Halo (3:26)
  8. Temper. Temper (3:21)
  9. Level (3:23)
  10. Always On My Mind (3:57)
  11. Beyond The Blue (3:56)