Pistol Whip


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The early 21st century has seen the unearthing of a few proto-punk treasures by obscure acts that never made it out of the basement/local bars but, luckily, did visit a studio or two during their original tenure (top of the list being Death, and their 2009 compilation For the Whole World to See). A year after the uncovering of Death's gem came another ‘70s punk obscurity, Pistol Whip. Hailing from Erie, PA, the group only managed to issue a 7" single in 1977, "Heart Throb" b/w "Untouchables," and also recorded a demo in 1978 before they went the way of the dodo. The folks at Smog Veil Records were somehow able to obtain these recordings, completely forgotten over the years, and dust them off and compile them all together in 2009, released under the album title of Terminal. Like quite a few up-and-coming bands of the late ‘70s, Pistol Whip were obviously inspired to bring things back to basics by the then-burgeoning punk rock scene -- which they did on their debut single, which has an unmistakable garage rock quality. But as evidenced on such tracks as "Whatchamacallit," Pistol Whip's guitarist, Rick DiBello, was all about shredding, and certainly lets loose (considered an absolute no-no by the majority of punk rockers at the time). And the presence of an organ in the group's sound certainly distanced Pistol Whip from the rest of the punk rock pack. But that said, tunes such as "Jooky MaGoo" and "Cock Sure" sound like they would have fit snuggly on rough 'n' raunchy releases of the era (namely the Dead Boys' Young Loud and Snotty). While the aforementioned release by Death is the strongest and most pleasantly surprising archival uncovering/discovery of recent times, Pistol Whip sound like they could have certainly held their own with the big boys of the era, as heard throughout the gloriously rocking release Terminal (which, by the way, comes with a DVD of 8mm footage, interviews, photos, etc.).

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