The Last Rites Of Dallas Pistol

The Sam Chase & The Untraditional

Independent release, 2019

REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen


This outfit spearheaded by San Francisco native Sam Chase offers an 18-track record in the form of an opera that took six years to make, where the protagonist, Dallas Pistol, has his soul saved by his father instead offering his own to the devil.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

“Overture” starts the listen with bare strings before building into a soaring display of chamber rock ideas, and “Before We Begin” follows with a biting folk rock template, as raw vocals from Chase illuminate the lively setting.

With a handful of tracks surpassing the five minute mark, there's much to absorb, but the band keeps things exciting with the stripped back campfire like acoustic-led “Shame On Me? Shame On You” that erupts into fiery barnyard rocker, while the female-led “Lost Girl” flows with an orchestral slant in its timeless beauty. “A Mother's Lament,” one of the best tunes, alternates between gritty and pretty vocals blended into the cabaret style sounds that are as unpredictable as they are enticing.

Near the end, “Mountains Of Shame” reels in firm spaghetti Western ideas into the intricate and highly melodic atmosphere, and “Your Reward” follows suit with a darker quality amid the soaring landscape. “Devil's Throne” exits the listen with plenty of folk-punk tendencies that certainly hint at Chase's early punk rock roots, while doing a great job of complementing this adventurous project.

It's quite apparent that a lot of work went into this very thorough and meticulous listen. While I've never been one to gravitate towards concept records, this one's so well done, that, even despite its lengthy duration, never out welcomes its stay. In a time when so many artists are focused on a releasing a single, Chase and company are certainly daring here. Their collective strength results in a very full album of top-notch song craft.

Rating: B+

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