The Sam Chase & The Unintentional have made their very own Rock Opera or soundtrack to an imaginary movie and it's a full on windswept epic Spaghetti Western noir epic that probably has a running time of over 3 hours that this one hour 20 minute album would soundtrack as it gives the impression that the film would have some long slow silent scenes.
The opening Overture is a nice string neoclassical opener that as it builds becomes a sort of High plains Drifter style theme tune perfect to play over the opening credits of the imaginary movie this album soundtracks. It also manages to sound like 3 songs in one as it shape shifts through its differing moods.
The story at the core of the album starts to unfold properly on Before We Begin as The Sam Chase starts to sing and tell us what he's pledging and why he's giving us his word over what sounds like a huge backing band (Actually a 7 piece band) that envelops to room with it's sound to make sure it feels like he's preaching the word and the word needs wailing guitar solo's as well as strings and all sorts of other stuff.
Shit From Shinola is the tale of growing up on the road with and in his parents band who were called Shit From Shinola it's rueful and also a typical hardships on the road tale of despair and hope and the never ending need to be performing the next show while this kid is trying to grow up.
A Modest Proposal is the waltz in a saloon scene as the towns savior has arrived and is telling the assembled folk why he's here and how he knows he is surrounded by his enemies with full on fiddle backing as he tells us they will all have to pay for his help.
Shame On Me Shame On You is the sort of song title that sounds like it should be a Disco classic rather than an acoustic strum as The Sam Chase tells us what might help to save Dallas Pistol's soul this is rousing and cool sounding like an old Waterboys single.
A Husbands Deathbed is as mournful as the title suggests as they wait to see how long it will take for the dying man to expire as the fiddle almost plays the last post for him.
Lost Girl is the first song with female vocals as the Lost Girl tells us her tale over slow piano and lets us know how she bewitches and what she will do to survive it all. This is plaintive and rather deliciously beautiful song that sounds indebted to Leonard Cohen.
Soul Child is full on begging pleading for salvation after the deed has been done and you just want a little forgiveness for that Soul Child.
Mother And Son On The Run is exactly what the songs about, fleeing the scene of the crime and getting the hell out of dodge having killed a man, the song tells the tale of the murder and the flight, over nicely mournful fiddles and a strummed acoustic guitar.
A Mother's Lament obviously has female vocals again as the Mother tells her tale of woe and regret at all the death that has surrounded her family and it is played as a slow folk lament come duet as her son comes in to try to claim his part in her redemption as if as the song builds and then finally fades into a very mournful ending almost like they are at a New Orleans funeral or stuck inside another series of True Detective in the scenes before the detectives arrive.
The End, Or Better Yet, The Beginning picks the pace up a good bit as the music goes full on widescreen as he takes his Banjo and joins up with the Devil on his way down to Georgia or Dallas or pick your own destination as they sound like the horses are galloping away.
Finally Released reminds me of a tune by The Dead Fingers, like the sort of upbeat gospel tune to wash your worries away. Oh and no the lyrical content is sinful in trouble with the lord style gospel rather than uplifting happy clappy gospel.
Carry My Bones has a more jazzy blues feel to it as The Sam Chase sing about the loss they Dallas Pistol and is family have been through as they ask you to carry them away.
Mountains Of Shame is a full on hoe-down to wash away the shame and get ready for a drink or two while another fight unfurls and redemption is sought once again as he claims all he really wants to do is front a band but all the darkness gets in the way and that true detective ought to be on his trail by now.
All Men Must Die is a perfect me too song title, but it is not a song of a woman's revenge, but of why Dallas Pistol deserves to die for his sins and what he has done, just why all the men he meets deserve to die, as his murderous rampage continues for seven years to be sound tracked by sweeping strings and an almost polka to lead him down the road to hell that he has been chased down by that never quick enough detective or sheriff.
Your Reward is to rot in hell or maybe to find redemption, this is one of the signs, to let you know which way this tale is going to end. Will it be another blood bath, or maybe he will finally find peace? As the music falls away to just the strings and the odd note on the piano, before the drummer gets the marching going and Dallas strides towards the light.
Cold Dead World is reflective of just how things have gone, how they may never improve sounding all sad and lonesome.
The album opera and story concluded with Devil's Throne one last lament for all the lives that have been lost, The hope for something better as Dallas tells us has taken his place on that throne we all know how these stories end a messy denouement can be the only end.
You will probably need to hear this album a good few times, like I have to really get everything that's going on and the album really stands up to being heard over and over until you have got the story properly. Or they make a full length film version for us all to wallow in a really wonderfully immersive album that needs to be heard as an album. I hope to get to see them play when there UK tour is re-arranged and normal life returns.
Find out more at https://thesamchase.bandcamp.com/album/the-last-rites-of-dallas-pistol https://www.facebook.com/thesamchasemusic/