Saturday, August 22, 2009

Blitzen Trapper - Black River Killer EP

If you ever get a chance to take a time machine back to the late 60's, bring Blitzen Trapper with you. The Baby Boom Generation would have embraced the Portland based folk-rock band with open arms. Eric Earley, the band's songwriter and vocalist, has an affinity for Neil Young, bluegrass, and songs about nature. He mixes the road-weary inflections of Bob Dylan with - fast forward to the 80's - the nasal drawl and rootsy grit of Tom Petty. The Black River Killer EP feels like a long-lost part of old vinyl collections, full of sprawling American rock songs and gentle ballads. Blitzen Trapper has been selling 6 of the EP's 7 songs on a CD-R at live shows, and figured they should make it more widely available while they work on the follow up to last year's Furr. "Black River Killer" opens the EP with ominous synths, crawling guitars, and Earley's tale of a psychopathic murderer. Harmonica-heavy "Silver Moon" kicks up the drums for a road trip-worthy tune, and "Shoulder Full of You" sets the mood for seduction. Black River Killer is short and sweet - a great bunch of songs from a band that's only getting better.

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