Tracer – El Pistolero

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Review by Peter Keevil

Mascot Records

Tracer – El Pistolero

I for one am pleased that this second full album from Adelaide’s Tracer hasn’t strayed far from their acclaimed debut, Spaces In Between. The opening bars of title track ‘El Pistolero’ deliver that trade-mark Tracer guitar sound. What it is though is a far more cohesive slab of aluminium infused polycarbonate (doesn’t that just reek of ‘soul’? Not!) than its older sibling.

Perhaps it’s the incessant touring of these antipodean stoner rockers or it’s the Mexican Desperado lyrical theme running through the collection of thirteen songs or the vibrancy and energy brought to bear by the indomitable Kevin Shirley (Bonamassa, Black Country Communion, Aerosmith) or perhaps it’s that it is now truly the single-minded vehicle of Michael Brown following the departure of his brother, Leigh.

Whatever it is, it has worked and captured here for us to enjoy.

The El Pistolero theme runs interspersed throughout the track listing in 4 parts and it will be intriguing to see how the guys handle this in a live scenario, whether to treat them as individual tracks or as a collective whole. Or indeed, to return to that theme throughout a set, as they have here.

This is not a concept album though and it still gives plenty of breathing room for the Tracers to expand their horizons while still placing that Tracer stamp. Take ‘Dirty Little Secret’ and ‘Hangman’ by way of example. The former an incessant, jagged riff compared to latter with its sweeping orchestral opening underpinned by an Asian theme before a driving guitar kicks in. Its expansive play without losing sight of the end goal.

What this means it that Tracer have found their feet, their identity, without constraining themselves, and that path leads to all things golden.

8.5 out of 10

Tracer – El Pistolero 1Track listing:

  1.  El Pistolero
  2.  Lady Killer
  3.  Dirty Little Secret
  4.  Dead Garden
  5.  Ballad Of El Pistolero
  6.  Santa Cecilia
  7.  Wolf In Cheap Clothes
  8.  Scream In Silence
  9.  Hangman
  10.  Manic For Ya
  11. Theres A Man
  12. Until The War Is Won
  13. Now I Ride