Tracer: El Pistolero

Grungy Germans clean up on their second album

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Pitching up somewhere between Soundgarden and QOTSA, Tracer have made a major leap with their second album; every aspect is stronger than 2011’s Spaces In Between. You hear this on the thrusting Lady Killer, which has forthright vocals from Michael Brown, as well as a blazing guitar solo.

Dirty Little Secret then struts right in your face and Suite Del Desperaro – featuring the four-way threat of the title track, Ballad Of El Pistolero, Santa Cecilia and Until The War Is Won – has the haunting, menacing quality you’d expect on a spaghetti western soundtrack.

Tracer’s songwriting shows delicacy, as well as bravura, their musicianship is both sophisticated and also sparse and Kevin Shirley’s production adds depth and value to every riff, melody and lyrical twist. El Pistolero is Tracer refusing to conform and moving at their own pace.

Listen to the way they imbue the softness of Scream In Silence with a rampant roar of pain – it’s clear that Tracer are about to make their mark.