In a nutshell, Bored & Dangerous says: “When the affection is as obvious as it is here, it’s hard not to get caught up in the wonder that Shooter Jennings felt back then, and obviously still feels now.”
The son of one of one of outlaw country’s founding father’s and biggest names, Shooter Jennings was never going to have an easy time forging his own identity as a musician. Especially as a country musician himself, there was always going to be comparisons to his old man, Waylon. But I guess if he was trying to really make a break for it, dedicating an entire album to synthesizer and 80s movies soundtrack king Giorgio Moroder is a pretty good way to start. It’s also a pretty good way to make me immensely intrigued about what’s on offer with Shooter Jennings and Countach (For Giorgio).
Jennings’ country drawl and twanged guitar, combined with a wahed out bassline for a weird disco flavour, and synth flourishes to make sure the song’s and record’s subject is being paid clear homage in the opening, title track. Leading into From Here to Eternity, which starts out like a Daft Punk song, before turning into a collage of Asian, Middle Eastern and techno sounds, all in support of a glorious rock ballad vocal delivery.
I’m Left, You’re Right, She’s Gone is built on a driving synth foundation that sounds like it could have been made by one of Moroder’s 80s soundtrack contemporaries, John Carpenter. It takes full advantage of its inorganic sound, with a looping, repetitive refrain that would wear out its welcome if performed by a traditional band, but somehow becomes intoxicating thanks to its pristine, robotic sound.
Jennings then embraces his straight up, boot scootin’ country roots on Born to Die. Complete with a chorus designed for audience participation while holding their beer bottles high and proud.
On a record dedicated to a movie soundtrack king, Love Kills is the most 80s big screen ready inclusion on Countach. It could be used in a montage when a hero and his love interest finally realise that they’re perfect for each other… And bone down. Or it could be used in the end credits after all of the explosions and gunfire have ceased and the hero is embarking on a happy, quiet life… Of boning down with his love interest.
As Countach winds down, we get The Never Ending Story. A cover so faithful, that while I’m impressed with its exactitude, it’s a little inessential when we already have the original. Then Cat People closes things out, with Marylyn Manson’s haunting, horror schtick put to perfect use on vocals.
As a concept, Countach (for Girorgio) could seem a little gimmicky. A country rocker paying nostalgic tribute to the music that helped shape his childhood and informed so much of his pop culture references could sound so hipsterly sarcastic. But when the affection is as obvious as it is here, it’s hard not to get caught up in the wonder that Shooter Jennings felt back then, and obviously still feels now.