It took me a few minutes into listening to Danish-instrumentalists Rodeo’s Dust Bowl to realize that I wasn’t listening to an album as much as I was listening to a demo to showcase their work as scorers of a Jim Jarmusch western. It’s mood music, minimalist, and haunting. Maybe, if Chuck Norris ever died, which is highly unlikely, Rodeo should be playing at his funeral. (Please, Mr Norris, don’t be upset at me for implying your mortality, it was only done to draw an example. If I make it to the end of this review, we know Mr Norris is merciful.)
In their official bio, Jacob Westergaard-Madsen, Jesper Bugge Kold, René Thorny, and René Gonzalez Schelbeck describe themselves as a rock historian, a fictional writer, a magician, and a former chef. I’m hoping that something was lost in translation, and Jesper Bugge Kold writes fiction and is not himself fictional.
There’s talent here, and there’re some interesting arrangements. The problem lies in the fact that this is so minimalist and because of that, there’s not much to say. There’s no standout track, nothing to make you pay closer attention, and this is because of the simplicity.
So, instead of trying to quantify this musically, I will describe scenes in a movie where this would be playing:
A son and his daughter are coming home after a hard day’s work in the fields. Their old pickup is kicking up dust on the old dirt road.
It’s high noon, the sheriff and the outlaw are standing in the middle of town, only one of them will see 12:01pm.
A posse just outran a pack of zombies in the Georgia suburbs, now they’re resting by a campfire sharing a can of beans.
If you’re the soundtrack supervisor for any such movie, and you use this, I want some credit. At this moment I’d like to point out that I’m almost done my review. (You are merciful Mr Norris. Your wisdom is as powerful as your fists.)
I’ll grade this album twice:
As something I’d listen to in my every day: 1/10,
As the score to a spaghetti western: 9/10.
(No, that doesn’t add up to 10/10)
Written by Richard Brunette
*edited by Danielle Kenedy