The Civil Dead's Bird Bones will ensure daydreams about life on the wagon trail
Bird Bones (Independent)
Despite our left-coast location, very few of us will ever get to live out our Wild West fantasies. Sure, we may leaf through freshly dog-eared copies of The Sisters Brothers before we rest our heads, or occasionally cue up the Man With No Name trilogy in the comfort of our homes, but the truth is, Lotusland has softened us. We’re poseurs—city slickers slapping on immaculate Wrangler jeans as we make our way to the Cloverdale Rodeo.
Local boy Christopher B. Langer, aka the Civil Dead, isn’t doing us any favours, either, offering up five dusty numbers on his new Bird Bones EP that’ll ensure daydreams about life on the wagon trail.
Don’t get the record confused with hopeful “Home on the Range”–style sing-alongs, though. The release instead repurposes Ennio Morricone movie scores, Godspeed You! Black Emperor’s “The Cowboy”, and late-era Swans. “The Wild Wind (Death)” is an aptly named number that has guest vocalist Ariele Oliver dourly describing the glass-eyed stare of a departed dude above a daunting wave of distortion. “Wolfbed” builds up slowly via barely audible washes of ambient sound before Langer cranks out another paint-peeling, tumbleweed-pushing melody atop a molasses-drip drum beat.
Blasting the rugged Bandcamp collection may not make you a cowboy, but it at least seems more authentic than a ride on the mechanical bull at Rooster Cogburn’s Country Cabaret.