By Al Kaufman
Pistolero is a bunch of music geeks who are so into it that they make their own amps. They know they're great musicians. They could have made one of those carefully crafted, perfectly produced technically mesmerizing CDs that showcased their talents. Instead, they sound like they were headed in that direction, when someone's brother scored some weed right before they went into the studio. So instead of a slick, perfectly polished gem, Pistolero created . . . something better.
The Atlanta boys have created a great group of ragged jagged melodies full of melody and passion. While they list their influences as everyone from Wilco and Spoon to Tom Petty and The Who, their sound recalls bands that play to more selective tastes.
"Sunburn" plays like a little gem from Austin's indescribable Gourds. Full of perfectly strained harmonies and a country-tinged melody, it's something you find yourself singing along to before the song ends.
Closing cut "Lonesome Train" is the type of hick-rock ballad that David Lowery's Cracker has lived off of all these years, while the first single, "Yellow House," chugs along on that lo-fi sound that Sub Pop used to put out in the '90s.
Pistolero are at their best though on their ballads. Corey Pallon's cracked pleading on songs like "Postcard from the Apocalypse" and "Thieves & Murderous Other Bits" sound as sincere and passionate as a teenage make-out session.
And, yes, there's a psychedelic instrumental hidden track at the end, just in case you weren't sure these guys were as good as they are.
Pistolero play the Earl with Today the Moon Tomorrow the Sun and Tendaberry on Friday, May 8. 9 p.m. $8.