Out of Range, the fifth long-player from Los Angeles' Gun Outfit, delves deeper into the dusty "Western expanse" phase that they initiated on 2015's Dream All Over and explored more fully a year later on the Two Way Player EP. Based around the core songwriting duo of Dylan Sharp and Carrie Keith, the group's noisy post-punk genesis in rainy Olympia, Washington feels light years away from the loose desert rock meditations that now seem so easily coaxed from their heavily reverbed guitars. Since drying out in L.A. and signing with the Paradise of Bachelors label, Gun Outfit have gone all in on their tonal reinvention and, fortunately, it has proven to be a natural fit for them. Even more esoteric than its predecessor, Out of Range's drowsy academia plays out like an abstract road trip through the Mojave in a windowless, beatnik jalopy. From Sharp's laconic, half-spoken incantations on the Orpheus tale, "Ontological Intercourse," to the austere slow-drip country of "Cybele," Gun Outfit merge their own mythology with references to ancient myths giving the set a literate flavor. As the duo continue to surround themselves with a shifting cadre of collaborators, their timbre changes ever so slightly with each record. On Out of Range, it's Amps for Christ mastermind Henry Barnes helping to paint their canvas, with a multitude of stringed noisemakers from more conventional bouzoukis and dulcimers to home-built oddities like the sibanjar and springocaster lap slide. For their part, Sharp and Keith continue to swap guitar licks and lead vocals, uniting in loose harmony and occasionally dialing up the tempo on tracks like the Keith-led rocker "Sally Rose" and the mellow yet jaunty Sharp tune "Strange Insistence." For the most part, though, Out of Range stays in first or second gear as the panoramic landscapes pass languidly by.
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AllMusic Review by Timothy Monger