Following the disbandment of the City Life four years ago, frontman Leo DeJesus spent his days as a hired gun who walked away from budding bands Big Rock Candy Mountain, MyNameIsJohnMichael and Empress Hotel—an unsung ronin drifting through New Orleans’ burgeoning indie rock scene. He’s since taken up with fellow musical miscreants Daniel “D-Ray” Ray (keys), Rory Callais (guitar), Andrew Jarman (bass) and longtime compadre Eric Rogers (drums), resurfacing as the leader of Vox and the Hound. And after two years of sifting through a songbook buried in the past, the outlaws unearthed their resolve: Courage, a brooding, millennial spaghetti western that conjures up the murderous fury of early Gun Club and burns with the despondency of mid-aughts Ryan Adams.
The reckoning commences when the snarl of an ominous guitar uncovers the indiscretions of “Madeline Kahn,” revealing the charred remains of its unfaithful teller’s wife and children in the ashes of his torched home. A dark, grandiose saga ensues—a vengeful opera of death, deceit and betrayal strung together by deftly orchestrated layers, wayward melodies, tense violent bursts and winding psychedelic omens.A CD release show is on Fri., Nov. 30 at House of Blues’ Parish Room.