Published Mar 16, 2016In a blog post, one of Gun Outfit's singers, Dylan Sharp, conceded that "every moment not spent in hedonistic bliss is a moment of squandered productive capacity," and that the resultant creativity is merely an "anxious response." This despondent tone has permeated Gun Outfit's lyricism across a number of EPs and full-lengths, including last year's Dream All Over, on which they provided a reverb-tinged autopsy of drifting souls left hopeless by crippling loss.
Two Way Player evokes a distressed terrain through flickers of optimism that are regularly broken by shattering falls. Bluegrass-charged psychedelic instrumentals lend themselves to the tragic atmosphere here, which calls for introspection beyond just pained narratives. As such, the lyrics are universally relatable, even if the riffs hint to a wider disillusionment with the world.
Vocal partner Caroline Keith adopts the role of the lover, emotionally drained by hard rejection, on "King of Hearts," the record's most sullen piece. Followup "Drive Off" crescendos to a looping plateau, mimicking the ceiling we hit in moments of darkness. "Our Time" delivers the bittersweet appraisal that "there are things worse than being dead," a blunt testimony for the already wounded.
On Two Way Player, Gun Outfit gaze inward, compulsively prodding their raw emotions to elicit more beauty from their psychological pain. (Wharf Cat Records)