From Canada all the way to Austin, Kevin McKeown and Eric Owen have stuck by each other. The duo’s history dates back to kindergarten in their hometown of Toronto, and they’ve been playing music together since high school. First came the Shenanigans, a power trio anchored by a love of classic rock and playing loud, but the band fell apart. McKeown and Owen decided to ditch Canada and headed south.
When they got to Austin, the duo plopped down and decided to take another crack at music. This time, though, they ditched the bass too, opting for a raw guitar-and-drums sound and a name to match: Black Pistol Fire. Constant local gigging led to notice from producer Jim Diamond, who’s worked with like-minded acts the White Stripes and the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion. He recorded Black Pistol Fire’s self-titled debut in 2009, and in 2011 the band followed up with Big Beat 59. A tribute EP to Little Richard has tided over fans in the meantime.
But recently, Black Pistol Fire announced their return, with Hush Or Howl seeing the light of day in early 2014. Next month, the Austin group will release first single “Hipster Shakes,” and we’ve got a first taste today. Black Pistol Fire ripped through the song in Studio 1A a few weeks ago, showing off their live energy and a ragged commitment to hard rock. It feels good to call them one of Austin’s own.