ABOVE: BLACK PISTOL FIRE. IMAGE COURTESY OF KIEL PERCHING
"Dimestore Heartthrob," the newest single from Austin-based Black Pistol Fire's Hush or Howl, makes itself known: it opens with big, defiant chords and marches straight into an energetic hybrid of jammy Southern-rock licks and spiky punk sensibilities. It's a winning formula, and combined with the timbre of lead singer and guitarist Kevin McKeown's vocals, one that's sure to invite White Stripes comparisons. But where Jack and Meg came by their Americana organically, the two guys behind Black Pistol Fire (McKeown and drummer Eric Owen) are doing it by choice: they're transplants who landed in Texas in 2009 after growing up in Toronto. Despite McKeown's titular protestation—"I'm a dimestore heartthrob, and I ain't worth falling for"—we find the track pretty impossible to resist.
HUSH OR HOWL IS OUT APRIL 1. FOR MORE ON BLACK PISTOL FIRE, PLEASE VISIT ITS WEBSITE.