Review of Blitzen Trapper's EP Black River Killer released through Sub Pop
Oregon based indie-folk sextet Blitzen Trapper have received critical acclaim in their native USA for their experimental style full length albums, but it seems this EP falls short of the mark. They make no secret of their influences, with more than a nod to Dylan and Cash, for example and you would think that this would give the record a definite identity, but in fact, it feels more like a random collection of songs than an EP.
Black River Killer starts well with its title track opener. It has a catchy melody, dark lyrics and Eric Earley's gravelly western vocals suit it perfectly. That western feel is continued with Silver Moon; a foot-stomping, thigh slapping track complete with harmonica and a skip along beat. That is followed by Going Down, a more experimental track that weirdly sounds a bit like early Blur but seems to work.
However the early promise is soon gone, with the remaining songs failing to make an impression either way. Although perfectly listenable with great instrumentation, they sound watered down and lack identity. Black River Killer EP is pleasant enough but is certainly not groundbreaking. It gives the impression of an EP cobbled together to keep the momentum going between albums.