Sunday, 16 December 2012

The Shooters - Planet of the Sun (album review)

Sometimes all you want is a good straight no-nonsense fuzzed out rock and roll record.  Spanish four-piece The Shooters' second album 'Planet of the Sun' delivers in a major way.

From the opening warm-up riffing of "Against the Storm" the band sets a course for the arid desert plains and when the drums kick in and the song really starts up, the band makes it clear there's no detour along the way.  Unrelenting parched fuzz guitar, scorched throat vocals and high octane rhythm section leaves the listener begging for mercy.  To the bitter end of "Walking on Water" The Shooters don't blink.  It's a highly focused record from a band that doesn't compromise.

"Against the Storm" is a shit-kicker with a great chorus, establishing the formula by which the band crafts the rest of the album.  Melodic and fuzzy uptempo rock and roll, it doesn't get too much better than this.  "Satellite" begins with a tom heavy drum beat and launches into an uptempo desert cruiser in an Orange Goblin or Lord 13 fashion.  It's one shit-kicking after another with this album.  They know when to slow down, lean back and let their monumental riffs speak for themselves as in this track, a quick solo and a reprise of the chorus and it's done.

"Desert Sun" is yet another standout track, funky and down-tuned, the band show that the burden of doom isn't too heavy for them to carry.  The chorus is a shout-along affair that must make for a great live performance.  "Tell Me" starts out hesitantly enough with a stuttering intro and moves into a midtempo run through of the main riff before hauling ass into the verse at full bore. After a roller coaster ride's worth of twists and turns the band launches immediately into "Fuel Eater", another great track that features some excellent guitar work in the serpentine riffs and killer solo.

"Fate" then spins on like a fiery vortex.  By this point in the album, the listener and indeed the band themselves haven't had a moment's pause for breath.  The Shooters are relentless in aim and purpose.  "Fate" has another terrific chorus, something the band seems to knock off with ease.  "Broken Bones" bursts in with pounding rhythms and some chunky riffage.  The overall effect is like the revving of a bike engine before taking off for the straighaway verse and the winding chorus.  Terrific stuff.

"Blasted Out Bullet" has a midtempo swagger and is probably the slowest song on the album, but is by no means soft or boring.  Of course, the pace gets picked up midway through the song for a quick solo only to brings things crashing back down for a slow/quiet drum and bass showcase.  Throughout the song the band never loses its strutting step and the album never loses its focus.  "Walking on Water" carries on the swagger from "Blasted Out Bullet" and gives one last run down of everything the listener loves about this album.  Tight playing, great chorus ("I curse every time you call my name!"), big ass riff caked in sweet, sweet fuzz.

There's no stopping here.  There are no interludes, no pauses for breath, it's just straight through uptempo rock and roll in the best stoner/desert rock tradition.  When listening to this album I can't stop thinking of the Tales from the Crypt episode "Carrion Death" (from Shock SuspenStories # 9) about a guy trapped in the desert on the run from police handcuffed to a corpse.

Highlights include: "Against the Storm" and "Desert Sun"

Rating: 4.5/5

Total Run Time: 51:17

From: Jerez De La Frontera, Spain

Genre: Stoner Rock, Desert Rock

Reminds me of: Lord 13, Midnight Ghost Train, One Eyed King, Orange Goblin, Steak

Release Date: November 28, 2012

Suggested listening activity for fellow non-stoners: thrown from the vehicle handcuffed to a corpse, vultures circling high overhead, fifty feet from the sun with no relief from clouds.

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