Thank you, Duane Peters. Thank you. That’s all I have to say after listening to the man’s latest endeavor, the Duane Peters Gunfight. Why am I so unabashedly grateful? Well, first of all, this self-titled debut album is fresh and threatening; it’s got bite and edge and passion and intensity and balls. Basically, all the characteristics rock‘n’roll should possess. And how great is it to see this “old” (!) guy kicking the crap out of SO many of today’s pathetic young bands that have been filed under this “punk” label (so much so that it’s truly losing -- or has lost? -- its initial meaning. More on this topic anon…). Man, this guy knows what the hell’s up. At least we still have some genuine personalities who are keeping the true meaning of punk and rock‘n’roll alive.
Okay, so, yeah, Yours Truly also praised Mr. Peters’ last work, 2004’s Long Legs from one of his other projects, Die Hunns. Perhaps readers will think me biased or exhibiting sycophantic, obsequious behavior. Whatever, think what you must. And yeah, I’ll refer to him as a Renaissance man too -- he IS after all, helming three bands at the moment (of course we cannot exclude street punk mainstays U.S. Bombs), running his own Disaster Records, and is an okay (!) skateboarder -- still going strong. But, now, for some more justification!
As with Die Hunns, the DP Gunfight is total rock‘n’roll. Obviously, there’s more to this band than Peters and no, we don’t have the wonderful male/female vocal interplay that adds so much charm to Die Hunns, as Corey Parks isn’t a part of this band, but we do have five other more-than-capable players in guitarists Gabe Schiavone, Michael Belfer, and Chad Spinx, as well as drummer Marcos Mora, and bassist Henry Trejo. But something similar to Die Hunns is the very cool gang vocals, as on songs like “War With You,” the exceptional “Last Cowboy,” “Smoke ‘Em,” “Yer Too Sensitive,” et cetera…
Personal favorites presented here are the aforementioned opener “War With You” and “Hell Mary” with their socio-political commentaries, as well as “Last Cowboy” and “Yer Too Sensitive.” These two pieces contain some of the most memorable guitar riffs on the record. The latter is a neat send-up on the “emo” trend in punk. No one’s safe: Warped Tour (which is pretty funny seeing that Die Hunns were supposed to partake in `04 but had to cancel as Duane and Corey were expecting baby Clash), nor is Epitaph, which is referred to as -- ahem -- “Emotaph.” Craziness. “Taking Back a Paragraph we’ll name yer band, start suckin’ up,” Peters sneers in his distinctive voice. And “Last Cowboy” paints a picture -- sung in first person narrative -- of a man who was a “highway man robbing the coaches,” a “gun slinger” and “horse thief” “wanted for train robbery, murder…bank robbery, cattle rustling.” Meanwhile, “Smoke ‘Em” decries the banning of smoking inside bars and the like. “Arrested me for fucking dope / You took away my fuckin’ hope / They got my choices / Outlawed all my vices / And now they want my pack a smokes,” the front-man laments.
The oddest song must be the finale, “Marry Me.” Sounding like a drunken rant with Peters’ exceedingly disjointed, disconcerting, kinda angry voice atop a lone country/Western-esque guitar, it’s definitely the anomaly of the bunch and, at least to this reviewer, the weakest. But overall, some good stuff from the machine that is Duane Peters.