Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Shooting Guns - Brotherhood of the Ram (2013) / 85%

Instrumental Maple Syrup part I: Highway Truckin'

Probably the best thing I ever found coming from Saskatchewan, a Canadian province widely known for its rectangular shape, an unique feat compared to its peers, Shooting Guns is probably my discovery of the year so far. They have this sound that I've been craving for a while, it's a deep and profound instrumental doom approach! What a better way to start this series than with the band that made me want to do it?

I used to often think (or even say) that most instrumental bands doesn't have vocalists because they couldn't find one, well it certainly can be the case... But great ones really don't need any. Shooting Guns are one of these bands, the quintet has a rich enough musicality to be protected from comments such as “you guys should totally like get a singer”. The two guitars attack gives them a lot of mobility, options and gives them the opportunity to be both heavy as hell or thoroughly psychedelically mad. The keyboards is also important in their sound, it adds a lot of necessary landscapes and it's not simply there to look cool, retro or “progressive”. As the band is exploring kraut territories (made me think of the eccentric Circle from Finland often), the weird ass effects became essential to their formula, the track “Motherfuckers Never Learn” (I never did myself either) is a good example of this, it's a repetitive and freaking heavy track helped by a huge helping of keys of all sorts. Mixing hard hitting stoner metal/rock with psychedelia, experimental and kraut rock isn't an easy task but these prairie boys do it perfectly.

Sometimes the key for instrumental bands is writing songs that are not overstaying their welcome and Shooting Guns knows that, their compositions on this album range from 4 to 9 minute and are frankly never boring. The space rock influence to their doom/stoner recipe is wonderful but they're also able to calm things down and go full space ballad with the song “Go Blind” or even finish with a drone/noise influenced track.

A very rewarding 40 minute experience, Brotherhood of the Ram doesn't mess around with the excessive and the unsubtle sounds and that's exactly what I want to hear in an instrumental doom band. They're over the top but it feels right and the wide array of influences are well integrated. I highly recommend this band to any fans of adventurous music that have loose definitions of what sonic boundaries are supposed to be.

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