Archive for October 5th, 2012

Portland, Oregon’s Blitzen Trapper have had their hands in a lot of styles over the years. There’s been some straight-ahead rock, some country, and even some prog rock leanings.  I’ve enjoyed them the most when they’ve settled into an easy-going acoustic rock/country hybrid.

It’s a little unclear whether the narrator of “Black River Killler” kills because he likes it or because he can’t help himself, but it seems like he can’t go a day without putting someone in the grave.  I like the chorus of “Oh when, oh when / Will the spirit come a-callin’ for my soul to send / Oh when, oh when / Will the keys to the kingdom be mine again?” because it makes there seem like there’s at least some struggle going on within the killer.  Any hopes for redemption, or even an end to his violence, seem futile, but it at least gives the killer some small amount of depth.

“Furr” is about a man who hears the sounds of wolves, goes to join the pack, and then turns into a wolf himself.  Then love pulls him back into humanity’s fold, although he still fulls the pull of his pack.  And you know what? It’s almost Halloween. Let’s go one further and say we’re talking a full-blown lycanthrope here.

“The Man Who Would Speak True” has a nice folkloric edge. If you’re familiar with the story of Thomas the Rhymer, Thomas is cursed to tell only the truth.  It gets him in some spots of trouble, because people might say they want the truth, but they rarely do.  In the case of “The Man Who Would Speak True,” however, chaos and death follow in the wake of this man who “had no tongue, it had been replaced / By a green and a growing flower which grew / And I knew if I ever spoke, I would speak true.”


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