The Grizzly Owls - I Am A Shootist
Owain Paciuszko 01/09/2009
Female fronted alternative folk two-piece lands somewhere between a dustbowl swagger and the spooky sounds of Bowerbirds on this four-track EP. Lead track Father of the Revolver pits etheral vocals over a military drum-beat and neatly plucked banjo in an endearingly buoyant way; like Doctor Teeth and Electric Mayhem going a beat down-tempo.
Save My Soul, Conquistador has a gritty Western Movie sound to its instrumentation, again playing with convention, off-set by lead-singer Jenny Andreotti's vocal, with little flourishes here and there akin to a less scatty Kate Bush. Unfortunately the track goes nowhere, disappearing - somewhat aptly - like a mirage. With the title track recalling the memorable score to the film The Third Man with its trembling dulcimer sound, but played off of another Spaghetti score, the record begins to feel like a Sergio Leone concept album; 'You can't shoot a man who's got no pride' sings Jenny sounding a tad like Karen O dropped into Rawhide. It's an interesting sound, with a nice chorus of 'Take you in the forest and shoot you in the head', but the song - again - seems content to amble along the same path throughout.
Final track We Never Sleep fits the jigsaw perfectly, and whilst all four songs feel like part of the same puzzle the picture they complete is a little lacking in depth and dynamic. There's a really interesting sound across all four songs, but they just need to add a little more to the mix, or a little variety to each song, to really create something special.
Jenny and Joseph Andreotti were inspired by the true life tales of their grandparent's journey over one thousand three hundred miles across the American Mid-West, and there's a certain sense of that personal pride squirreled away in these songs. Yet, it feels like part of a larger picture, and as a result seems unfinished.