With the possibility of a wild summer ahead, Trick Gum’s new single “Hot Rifle” is a top candidate for illuminating what awaits us. The song glides, relaxed guitars breeze over motorik verses that enchant their way into a snappy Napoleonic synth march of a chorus before drifting back seamlessly into sun-kissed nirvana. It’s the perfect soundtrack for watching waves crashing and pulling against the sand… or a bank robbery.
Trick Gum is composed of Justin Raisen (producer of Yves Tumor, Kim Gordon, Angel Olson) and his longtime songwriting collaborator/cousin Jordan Benik (late great LA faves Sweaters). Listening to “Hot Rifle” for the first time stirs up a treasured feeling, the feeling of discovery. The brain tells itself, “they are for ME,” as the music chimes: “that’s right, and we always were.” “Hot Rifle” ends and I need to hear it again.
Lyrically, “Hot Rifle” seethes. Black Francis’ description of Pixies as “lazy evil” comes to mind. Lines sink in one by one, riled up, as it scores life on repeat. Trick Gum did their best to prepare us for this duality: promo material reads like an unholy combination of Foxfire, Biosphere 2, and 1960s Disneyfied Monsanto. Teasers lean into Adam Curtis and low budget Brave New World sci-fi. One can picture Trick Gum in a desert seance with Boards of Canada and DAF, summoning Brian Jones and Jack Parsons for the sole reason of offering their ghosts pop rocks and joggers.
Trick Gum describes “Hot Rifle” as “pushed to the edge, losing your faith in societal norms. The moment you give up on the rules and consider stealing a very large amount of money, and the peace that dwells within you in this moment—freed from the constraints of principle.” In other words, a summer jam. Whatever is coming our way, Trick Gum will be here. They are for us.