The South is the new West or perhaps it’s always been that way. Hi Ho Six Shooter hail from Virginia and proclaim themselves to be a neo-western band. However, it’s the band’s southern themed roots that continue on Empire. I guess that should come as no surprise. Hell, the band released a Civil War themed 7-inch record a few years ago. Empire is the band’s most fully realized work yet and is meant to serve as an introduction to an overall larger forthcoming narrative. The album starts off appropriately with a mysterious horn-laced intro. Empire feels like a book of short stories thereafter. In fact, each song is introduced as being sung by a separate character so it is rather easy for the listener to follow the band’s ambitious storyline. Of course this is where the band excels…in telling masterfully woven stories. Similar to bands as diverse as Murder By Death and The Decemberists, Hi Ho Six Shooter are thematically reminiscent. While those bands might not have a ton in common sonically, each excel at telling intoxicating stories within the tapestry of their instrumentally diverse songs. Hi Ho Six Shooter’s tales have the ability to transport the listener back in time. Empire is a captivating journey for the listener and it marks only the beginning for the band.
RIYL: Murder By Death, The Decemberists, Okkervil River
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