Battle Jacket - Cowboy Killers
Acid Wash Records - February 2021
Doom, Stoner, Southern, Psych
Idaho's newly minted Battle Jacket has landed their bluesy doom debut "Cowboy Killers", and it's been much anticipated personally since their EP as Denim Dan & The Blue Jean Band. The opening and title track busts out with immediate momentum, the insistent kraut-rockish drums of Zach D'Amico driving forward the chugging guitar, with more than a little Southern style. Then frontman Kyle DeHart's vocals come in, and immediately become apparent as one of Battle Jacket's (many) strengths. High and echoing, DeHart's voice almost drawls in its laid-back delivery, droning out while adding heaps of wry Southern attitude. Beneath the soaring vocals, the crunchy guitar ploughs forward until breaking down into a doomy stomp, and the second secret weapon is revealed. Jef Keruma's lead guitar oozes out a screaming, moseying solo that feels just right, fiery but taking its sweet time. The title track serves as a telling taster for things to come, and every cut on "Cowboy Killers" is a winner. "Wicked Witches Brew" is beefed up since its initial EP appearance, plodding forward with nodding doom in a sardonic tale of murder, the clever earworm lyrics ringing out forever. Never far behind, a fiery, wah-crazed solo erupts with some Van Halen DNA peeking through, a recurring and welcome theme across the album. The following "Red Wooden Barn" brings sprawling stoner riffs that flow effortlessly, in contrast to the downright evil, winding riff of "Dark Lagoon" that lumbers forward menacingly. The second half of "Cowboy Killers" is a joyous dive further into Battle Jacket's greasy, grainy, southern-fried sound, and it's a wonder behold. Stop what you're doing and dig in.
(Written by Shasta Beast)