It takes Human Potential about five minutes to reach the holy-fuck heights within “Hot Gun Western City,” but don’t let a lack of patience keep you from hearing this pivotal moment play out. It’s worth it, as if the Dischord vet behind it all (former Medications drummer Andrew Becker) was applying his experience as a tension-building film director (see: this summer’s Santoalla feature) to a towering piece of experimental pop music.
That’s what we got out of the song at least. Here’s what the Renaissance man had to say about the leadoff single from his third solo effort, which is due out DIY style July 21st:
The title of the song, and name of the album, “Hot Gun Western City”, come from a passage I read in Werner Herzog’s journal Of Walking in Ice:
“The most desolate thing was the palisades of Hot Gun Western City, here in the middle of the forest, all dreary, cold, void. A railway that will never run again.”
When I read it, I had no idea what it meant, but I found the collection words unusually powerful. So I conducted some research. From the scant information I could find, I discovered that “Hot Gun Western City” was an amusement park built in Germany in the 1970s, embodying an Old West, cowboy culture theme. But, apparently the locals weren’t too into it. Not only was there was a dispute over the land, but people considered the park, with its portrayals of rowdy saloons and staged gun fights, to be having a deleterious effect on the children. So, early one morning a bunch of people got together and burned it to the ground.
But, to me, that sequence of words, Hot Gun Western City, is just extraordinarily evocative…. Especially when you apply it in a modern context. Lyrically, I kind of appropriated ideas of the above tale, but reframed it as a revenge story set in 2017 America. So, enjoy…or, you know… don’t.
Hot Gun Western City
(What Delicate Recordings, July 21st)
2. Nearly Nines
3. Wayfare Radio
4. Majestic Park Training
5. Notes from the Moon Factory Parking Lot
6. Hot Gun Western City
7. Moses on the Sentry Box
8. Too Early for Tomorrow