7inch Sunday: Candice Gordon – Smoking Like the Barrel of a Gun

7inch Sunday is a segment devoted entirely to 7” vinyl and the all-encompassing experience surrounding it. Although most publications cover major releases, the vinyl single is often overlooked and given nothing more than a half-hearted nod of acknowledgement. This weekly feature is a hub for 7” reviews, exploring the B-sides and rarities of artists that may often go unnoticed.

Each Sunday I will review 7” vinyl from artists who venture this extra mile to hold their singles high above the sea of digital releases. I hope to embody the spirit of vinyl while sharing some fantastic music with you, the reader. Let’s get started.

Germany, a nation known for BMW, beer and, more recently, a fantastic Equestrian team, is rarely in the spotlight for its modern music. Aside from a strong industrial scene (KMFDM, Rammstein, etc.) and the occasional breakthrough electronic act (Modeslektor), other genres are largely unrepresented and silent.

Hailing from Berlin, Candice Gordon demolishes these stereotypes, bringing top-notch rock and roll that ranges anywhere from shrieking headbangers to sobering nightclub tunes. Her debut single, Smoking Like the Barrel of a Gun, samples both these moods and successfully preludes the forthcoming full-length.

Fuzz, plodding drums and quirky attitudes run rampant through the single’s namesake. With an energy reminiscent of Jack White’s earlier, grittier material, Gordon fearlessly puts all her cards on the table, breaking only for the guitar solo that rips through the track’s midsection. By the end of the track, there is a tasteful exhaustion that can only be felt from full creative exertion.

After the roller coaster that was “Smoking Like the Barrel of a Gun,” the B-side pulls the mood down to a low, alt-country hum. “I Haven’t Eaten in Days” runs the risk of contrasting too starkly from it’s predecessor, but Gordon’s voice provides enough similarity to sprinkle some gray in what would be black/white A/B-sides. Her voice retains the same give-it-your-all vibe in spite of the songs slow and sobering pace.

Rarely can a mere two songs succeed in giving a proper sample of an artist’s work, but Gordon’s Smoking Like the Barrel of a Gun does exactly that. Whether amped up or sultry, Candice Gordon makes every vibe her own. Combining both her and the band’s musicianship, this single previews a solo artist to keep on your radar.

Check back next week for a look at Burnt Ones’ Protection Circle.

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