Austin, Texas rock ‘n’ roll duo, Black Pistol Fire, is known for its raucous instrumentation, exasperated-and-wild live shows and waves of energy that emanate into a crowd like solar flares. But when life slows you down and gives you lemons, you must then create a stripped-down, jaunty version of a song that could otherwise blow doors down and roofs off.
Well, that’s what Black Pistol Fire did, anyway. And we’re happy to premiere that spare homemade video here today on American Songwriter for the reimagined single, “Level.”
Black Pistol Fire’s lead singer, Kevin McKeown, gets some space on the reimagined track (as opposed to the meatier original). He lets his voice screech and soar like a new-age Chris Cornell. “Level” is one of eleven new tracks (five of which have been released already since the album’s announcement in 2019) on the upcoming record, Look Alive, which is slated for a January 29th release.
“The song was written,” said McKeown, “from the perspective of someone who is constantly struggling not to succumb to the low chatter of negative influence. I can always feel when a song has weight with me, personally, where I can re-work it into an entirely different song and still have it feel appropriate to the original vibe.”
Compressed drums meet a sly rhythm-and-blues mood that presents an excellent spare foundation upon which McKeown can vocally crash off the ceiling, through the window and rattle a few hinges. The result is some beautiful hybrid of the Arctic Monkeys and Michael Kiwankuka. McKeown even sneaks a line from the Beatles track, “Happiness is A Warm Gun,” before adding a flickering electric guitar solo to cap off the chilled-out version.
The Austin, Texas-based group, which also includes frenetic drummer, Eric Owen, worked with producer, Jacob Sciba (Gary Clark Jr), and mixer, Vance Powell (White Stripes), on their forthcoming stunning and rigorous new record, which fans can pre-order here.
To learn more about the rock group, visit its neat-o interactive web site here.