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Devil In a Boot



All single track downloads $1.00

2. Starvation Creek Trail +1 WAV +1 FLAC
3. The Hanging +1 WAV +1 FLAC
4. Hero +1 WAV +1 FLAC
5. Rattlesnake Gulch +1 WAV +1 FLAC
6. Lady Waltz +1 WAV +1 FLAC
7. Bring On The Whores +1 WAV +1 FLAC
8. Lamenting Whore +1 WAV +1 FLAC
9. Burial +1 WAV +1 FLAC
10. Requiem +1 WAV +1 FLAC
11. Train Song +1 WAV +1 FLAC
12. War Cry +1 WAV +1 FLAC
13. Cathedral +1 WAV +1 FLAC
14. Reprise +1 WAV +1 FLAC
15. Intro +1 WAV +1 FLAC

I like to rant about the soundtrack quality of music. Contained within music’s soundtrack element is its true ability to impact us as listeners. Think back to a song you heard recently that triggered a random memory. Or perhaps at some point you’ve made up your own story and characters to an album you heard. The possibilities are endless. It is the tip of the iceberg and quite possibly the main reason why music of all sorts and varieties have always been so long-lasting.

Portland’s own Federale is a band that does not just figuratively embody the soundtrack quality of music, the do it literally. Made up of local musicians and members of The Brian Jonestown Massacre, Federale is one of those things about Portland that help keep it weird. But that’s the way those of us that live here like it.

While consisting of a core group of members, live Federale can be as large as fourteen performers. They have been releasing music together for the last several years, but for fans of this year’s Rome by Danger Mouse and Daniele Luppi Federale would be a logical choice. Even more so, fans (myself included) of old spaghetti western movies such as A Fistful of Dollars, For A Few Dollars More, or The Good, the Bad & the Ugly (basically anything Ennio Morricone did the music for) then Federale is an even more logical choice.

Their most recent album, 2009’s Devil In A Boot is already almost two years old. It is a concept album through and through in that it adheres to a story told on its inside cover. Without giving too much away, it is a tale of revenge. The group’s website describes it as, “The story of Jack, whose home and family is stolen from him as a child by a ruthless railroad baron. Ultimately, Jack exacts his revenge.” Too bad The Good, the Bad & the Ugly director Sergio Leone isn’t still around and making movies as this would have been a good one. Or perhaps it would be interesting to see a modern day director’s take on the story. At least the soundtrack portion would already be covered. However, Ennio Morricone is still living and should be proud that there are groups out there like this paying tribute to a genre he helped invent.

Stylistically and musically, Devil In A Boot utilizes all of the standards when it comes to this type of music. Male choirs, cracking whips, whistling, rolling snare drums, trumpets, harmonicas, claves, and chunky/twangy electric guitars are all demonstrated bountifully throughout this album on songs like “Starvation Creek Trail,” “Hero,” “Rattlesnake Guch,” “Bring On the Whores,” and “War Cry.”

It isn’t unreasonable to say that acts like Federale are not often heard of these days. I enjoy them for two reasons: the first is personal as their music brings feelings of nostalgia. Spaghetti western movies like those mentioned above are some of my favorites of all time. The second is out of respect. I respect Federale for having such a clear idea of what they want to be about and the fact that they are yet another quirky thing that makes Portland great. Naysayers will accuse them of having too much of a niche or focus; of being too specific in their sound. But I think it is safe to say Federale collectively knew this ahead of time and wanted it that way. On the plus side, it helps to weed out the fair-weather fans. And for those of us that are left, their music is just plain fun and leaves you eagerly anticipating the next tale they feel is worthy of telling through their music. - Jayson Berray