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The Grand Bazaar - Single Review: The Gunslinger

25 Mar 2020 // A review by Callum Wagstaff
The Gunslinger is the debut single by brand new band The Grand Bazaar. Formed in November 30th of 2019, very little
information is yet known about this mysterious entity other than two of its members: Mama Hollywood and Hound McFox.
What they represent is vaguely psycho-spiritual but fundamentally cryptic. Time will tell what they're all about as they reveal themselves further.

Their first single was written as Covid-19 was just beginning to make the world a little nervous. The Grand Bazaar imply a
connection between The Gunslinger and the theme of isolation inspired by the pandemic. Accompanying the song is a
breath-taking video shot all over the ranges of the South Island's 'middle earth' region.

The Gunslinger is a moody western song, incorporating elements of spoken word and blues to tell a short story about the
mysterious supernatural entity given its name by the protagonist. The Gunslinger stalks the storyteller, making them a pariah to everyone around them. There is a twist at the end that I won't spoil here.

As the song opens, the use of space leaves room for the guitar parts to bleed their 'barren desert' sound through. A great bass line alternates between the mid and low ranges, providing the rambling foundation for the wandering figure in the video. Unlike the more narrative focused lyrics, the video works like a showcase of the amazing scenery, using impressive aerial shots and interesting reframing. The figure walks all over the landscape, but by the end doesn't really go anywhere.

The choruses could benefit from some rhythm guitar or mid-range instrument, as the space left to create tension and atmosphere in the verse doesn't really get filled at a point where the song is otherwise shifting up the gears. The bridge is great to hear through headphones; the vocal delay repeats move from left to right and the guitar parts do a call and response. There is still space in the frequencies for some more foundational sounds but the tom heavy drums accent the foreboding low-end against the dynamic strokes of the guitars. The last section after the earth-shaking twist in the story blends elements from earlier in the song with new articulation and cinematic pacing.

The Gunslinger is a dramatic western gothic tale played against the backdrop of a jaw droppingly beautiful video. Being the first single from such a new band, we can't be sure if the next couple of songs will continue in the same genre, or different genre's in the same storytelling style, or continue drawing direct inspiration from current events and reflecting the music based on those interpretations. If The Grand Bazaar continue with this level of production value, they're sure to attract an enthusiastic following whatever direction they pivot to from here.
Rating: ( 4 / 5 )

About The Grand Bazaar

The Grand Bazaar's place in the solar system is unveiled within anthemic revelries of soundwave sculptures and CME ambiences - this is the summary of our lives as explorers of the unknown, exposed to multiplicities of complexities and then not ...

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