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April 17, 2014 at 8:30 AM

Northwest ex-pats Gun Outfit steady their aim | Concert preview

Gun Outfit

Gun Outfit’s Dylan Sharp, above. Photo by Rachel Carr.

While the presence of two distinct songwriters — and absence of a bass player — has defined Gun Outfit since it formed in Olympia in 2006, co-founders Dylan Sharp and Carrie Keith changed things up for last year’s “Hard Coming Down” LP, their third, adding low end and harmonizing for the first time. Bassist Anton Seder and drummer Dan Swire round out the lineup; they’ll play Chop Suey Thursday. The four-band bill also includes Brooklyn’s The Men, Olympia’s Moldy Castle and Seattle’s Lures.

The loose, clever guitar interplay between Gun Outfit’s core duo — now based in Los Angeles — has always been engaging, but records like 2009’s “Dim Light” sometimes felt like the work of two different groups. This time around, however, Keith’s airy lilt meets Sharp’s monotone drawl halfway, yielding standouts like her mercurial “Flyin’ Low, Maria,” with its cascading vocal line, and his euphoric “Death Drive,” below, punctuated by Mellotron à la The Who’s “Baba O’Riley.”

Students of the school of thought that self-promotion is uncool, you won’t find Gun Outfit on any social media, nor even Wikipedia. And while by no means prolific, they’ve closed the gap between formal LPs with short-run cassette and VHS tapes available only at gigs — a reminder that even in leaving drafty Western Washington for sunny Southern California, they’ve remained as casual as the basement-show scene that birthed them.

8 p.m. Thursday at Chop Suey, 1325 E. Madison St., Seattle; $12 (206-324-8005 or chopsuey.com)

Comments | More in Rock/Pop | Topics: Chop Suey, Los Angeles, Olympia

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