Blitzen Trapper

Black River Killer (Sub Pop)

Rating: NNNNN

If Portland’s Blitzen Trapper haven’t already cemented their status as Wilco’s heir apparent, this thoroughly impressive EP should do the trick. The woodsy West Coast six-piece exhibits all the best qualities of Chicago’s alt-country kings before Jeff Tweedy took his band down Jam Band Lane.


Blitzen’s main songwriter, Eric Earley, keeps the tracks taut and the hooks precise, as on folk-pop nugget Silver Moon and Preacher’s Sister’s Boy (Black River’s centrepiece). Even the more experimental Going Down, with its flourishes of anti-folk keyboard blips, perfectly complements Earley’s melody and doesn’t derail the tune. Seven songs and zero duds – this is the must-hear of 09.

Top track: Preacher’s Sister’s Boy

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