Monday, October 7, 2019
Gothtober - Orville Peck: "Pony"
Not the darkest album I am reviewing this month , but it would not be out of place on a David Lynch sound track so that qualifies . Orville Peck is the masked pseudonym of this gay Canadian "Country" singer. I could care less if he is gay or not, the only way it factors in is lyrically. His music hearkens back to the classic western side of country music, but there is a post punk/ indie rock influence to the way it jangles along. "Turn to Hate " is an exception to the rule as it is one of the few upbeat songs most create the sound track to a dark and lonely highway. The guitars clang with an indie rock drone as he retains a smooth croon. It's more like indie rock that has a strong dark country influence. "Queen of the Rodeo" brings in synths and takes on more of a post-punk vibe, but is really well written. He has a great deal of control to his voice.
If you took 50s country and ran it through a filter of LSD in might sound "Kansas Remembers Me Now". These surreal moments really make this album worthwhile and set him apart as his own entity. Things take a darker turn when we get to "Big Sky" . The twang of the guitar invokes a more nostalgic feel on " Roses are Falling". His voice really sound great. Her the lyrics take one of the darker turns. One of the moderately more upbeat moments is the marginally lighter mood to " Take You Back". Lyrically he is sardonic saying it is going to be a long cold day in hell before he takes them back. The line 'this town bored me/ and baby that's including you" is pretty clever and biting not unlike Morrissey. There are some minor hints in the chord progression.
"Hope to Die" is more glum.The guitars on this album can sometimes be minimal for this style of country, but make every note count as the tone is great. The album ends on a slower and more somber note with " Nothing Fades Like the Light". This song is more introspective than it is dark. While he does have an original sound country post-punk is not unheard of King Dude and Woven Hand both contain elements of this. He is not as dark or intense as either one of these. He a promising song writer who knocked it out of the graveyard for his debut, so I will give this one a 9.5 and see how it grows on me. Oddly released on Sub Pop Records.