Black Pistol Fire, Shut Up!
With Shut Up!, Black Pistol Fire has delivered a five-song EP that is the songs of Little Richard, only with their BPF sort-of punk rock sound added into the chorus.
Confession: whenever I get music, I never actually read the press release. Well, sometimes I do, but for the most part, I do not. This is for two reasons. First off, because I find that reading press releases can sometimes sway your judgment on a band. If you read something positive about a band prior to listening to their music for the first time, then it can affect your review. For instance, if someone told me, “This band is a mix between The Beatles and Thrice,” then when I’m reviewing their music either A) I agree and have that come out in my review (which are their words, not mine, so it’s kind of like leading the witness in a trial), or B) I disagree and therefore do not like the music because it fails to live up to what I was promised. (Though going in with a blank slate of sorts could result in my actually liking it.)
So when I first pressed play on this EP, I paid absolutely zero attention to any of the song titles or other information that would scream in my face that these are songs of Little Richard, and not, in fact, the original songs of Black Pistol Fire. I was doing something else while first listening to this EP (multi-tasking is for winners! Are you a winner?) and I couldn’t help but notice how much it had that classic rock ‘n roll sound.
My first thought may not have been “Little Richard,” mind you; I believe it was actually “Chuck Berry.” Then I began to pay a little bit more attention to not only the music but the words and realized that the song did sound very familiar. Yes, I was listening to “Long Tall Sally,” a Little Richard song I think everyone should probably know.
Throughout these five songs, only two really stand out as being different from the others. The closing track, “Lucille,” is a moderate-tempo, blues-infused tribute that would make Little Richard himself proud. The third song, “Ready Teddy,” is a bit different, as well — it’s got a very acoustic feel to it, though it still maintains the speed of the other songs, and it even has a banjo strumming along. It’s not nearly as loud as the other songs, but it does get the job done and never fails to impress.
The other three songs — along with the already-mentioned “Long Tall Sally,” you get “Keep a Knockin” and “Rip It Up” — have the core rock ‘n roll vibe that Little Richard put into the originals, but they seem to get faster in the chorus, in a more modern punk rock style, which converges into something I like to call “punk ‘n roll.”
What I like most about this EP is not just that you’re getting five cover songs that are well worth the asking price for any fan of music, but also that I’m being introduced to a new band for the first time, but in a very familiar way. Imagine if your parents got divorced (I know, a lot of readers are probably saying “Imagine? Pfffffffftttt!”), and then one day your mother brings home Al Roker. On one hand, it’s like, “Meet your new daddy!,” but on the other side of the coin, “Hey, it’s Al Roker!” You probably already know him from the television and already have questions you would like to ask him.
Black Pistol Fire could create a full-length album after this that could sound like these songs sound, and I would listen to it like crazy. They could somehow shift over into a different version of punk ‘n roll that’s less like Little Richard, and it still might be very good. Either way, they have done an excellent job of introducing listeners to their sort of sound.