After having written a large number of delicately alternative reviews, Shotgun Sawyer’s newest LP titled Thunderchief hit me straight in the face. The album is full of hard-hitting, fuzz ridden riffs, thunderous drums and loud vocals. Well, actually, loud everything. This blues-rock inspired album contains hints of ‘90s stoner rock, grunge and net-garage rock.
I’ve said this time and time again, but I really feel that it’s true: I love it when I can hear bands having fun with what they’re doing. And it is immediately clear that this is what is happening in Thunderchief. With this being said, it is certainly clear that they take their music seriously. However, I feel that with this genre of music one can only be so serious about they're doing. If the intent is to light up the room with repetitive, raucous riffs, then one needs to have a certain amount of fun with what it.
My biggest complaint with the music, and this may be because of the genre, is that it sounds very familiar. Not that it wasn’t executed well, it just appeared to me to be ground that has been covered before. I grew up listening to the bands that Shotgun Sawyer is surely influenced by, and when you listen to that stuff for long enough a lot of it starts running together. Now, I’m not saying that the band doesn’t put their own spin on it because they certainly do; I just think that a three-piece blues/rock band, the music can only distinguish itself so far from the rest.
Regardless of that, I think the music is really, really well executed. The production quality is solid, the album is very cohesive, and the instrumentation is very tight. Songs like “Skinwalker” and “Soldier Song” are good examples of the band’s solid ability to work together.
I also enjoyed how they seemed to touch on pretty much all of the facets that define their sound with bluesy, acoustic guitar, screaming electric guitar, crooning vocals, yelling vocals, fuzz bass and grandiose drum fills. Shotgun Sawyer hits it all. Along with this, I feel that the band nailed what they were going for. It holds its own in regards to music made during the defining periods of the genres they were shooting for, so I would say Shotgun Sawyer successfully achieved what they set out to do. If you are a fan of this type of music, then you should check it out.
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