On first inspection, this seems so straightforward, that an explanatory blurb such as mine would hang like a tuxedo on a bull. He’s a gunfighter, so ergo he’s sexually attractive. Doi. Funny, though. The collective memory of movie buffs (often male) will only preserve a handful of actual gunslingers (namely, various incarnations of Clint Eastwood) and their high-profile directors (namely, blokes named Sergio). But ask any woman who grew up in the ’50s and ’60s, and they’d probably rattle off dozens of childhood heartthrobs in cowboy hats, on big and small screens alike. Just as teen girl fanatics catapulted the Beatles into stardom, that same demographic sustained one of Hollywood’s most popular genres for at least four decades. Peeps who rail on about Spaghetti Westerns and Ennio Morricone tend to forget about them, those legions of secret admirers that hustled home from school to catch the next episode of Gunsmoke.
That said, even though traditional Westerns have more or less kicked the bucket, Midnight Larks kinda resemble the gunfighters of yore. They’re mysterious—prior to “Gunfighter,” the only traces of their psychobilly stomp and garage-psych showdowns exist as live recordings on YouTube, including a more rough-and-tumble version of this single from two years back. They’re deadly—dig how the sultry surfy chant rockets into a manic shoot-out here (and this is just their tamest cut!). Most importantly, though, they’re the kind of unsung heroes that should keep you glued to your TV set, because at long last a Midnight Larks album is in the works. Time will tell if the trio can wrangle all of their explosive live set into the studio, but they’re definitely on the right track.
So, yes. He’s a gunfighter. But he also used to be the most irresistible archetype in the media, and Midnight Larks take up his Stetson with nary a sweat.