Mighty Gunns is Stoney Vegas (guitar/vocals) and Skinnyaz Phatsou (drums). On their release Twelve Labors the band sounds kind of what you might expect from a band of those two elements. A good amount of the songs rely on hard-hitting drums and distorted power chords, which don’t sound too far off from a band like The Black Keys or The White Stripes. That being said there are some unusual deviations that kind of left me scratching my head.
The songs were recorded DIY style with a field recorder and the results are about what you would expect. There is a certain point with lo-fi where it affects the impact of the song and I would be lying if that weren’t the case here. The drums are missing some essential frequencies, which can lessen the visceral impact and the vocals don’t have much clarity to them. I couldn’t understand what was being said most of the time.
There are some decent ideas and implementation but they are some mishaps here and there such as the duo becoming noticeably off time. The flubs are relatively minor but some of the performances could have been a bit tighter.
Up first is “Lioness” which has a bluesy/rock vibe. The song revolves around distorted chord progressions and a driving drum beat. The next track “Hydra” has a similar vibe. It’s nothing that hasn’t been done before but they are decent songs nonetheless.
Their style starts to shift on “Outrunner” which sheds the bluesy vibe and feels like a straightforward alternative/rock song. “Boar (Missing All the Hits)” has a good vibe but the playing is just down right sloppy while “In the Stables” for some reason had clearer sounding vocals than the previous songs.
“Stymphalian” comes out of left field and doesn't really feel connected to the previous songs. Vegas tinkers with his guitar and makes waves of white noise. After that they jump into “Bull” which feels aligned with everything prior to “Stymphalian.” The other song that comes out of nowhere is “Hippolyta's Belt” which is a soft delicate song revolving around clean guitar picking and one of the best vocal performances. I liked the song. It just felt random in the context of everything else. They close with a ten-minute feedback fest entitled “Cerberus (Argonauts Call).”
Mighty Gunns has some talent but they have some work ahead of them if they want to hang out with some of their influences. If they are going to tinker with these one off songs like “Cerberus (Argonauts Call)” and “Stymphalian” they need to have a way for it not to feel so separated. This type of thing points to a band that really is not sure what their sound is as of yet. If they can dig a bit deeper while also tightening up their performance they should be good to go.
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