Earlier this year I reviewed a self titled EP by a band called Thunderchief. The four songs on that EP were a really good display of a band that has a modern blues sound, similar to that of The Black Keys or Jack White. Both are artists I’ve never cared for, but Thunderchief took that sound and made it into something I care for a little more. You can read the full review here. Recently the band changed their name to Shotgun Sawyer and have a full album, their first, coming out shortly. That album is appropriately titled Thunderchief.
Shotgun Sawyer‘s name may have changed, but their modern blues and garage rock sound remains, from new gems like Left For Dead and New Meat to rerecordings of their previous EP like opening track Skinwalker, I’m A Bad Man and Sudden Death in the Flesh. The rerecordings are note for note like the original songs from the Thunderchief EP, and there is an obvious increase in production quality that makes the songs sound all the more professional.
Songs like the groovy Gravedigger Dan or the solid closing track Strawberry Jam are just two examples of how dominant Shotgun Sawyer can be with their instruments, while tracks like Lawman, with its acoustic intro, and That’s the Working Man which feels more like a standard hard rock track rather than a blues track, change things up nicely to make Thunderchief a fairly diverse rock album.
Even the long songs on Thunderchief manage to impress and don’t feel too long. The almost six minute Soldier Song, which is another rerecording from the EP hits me the way the original recording did, mostly thanks to the slide guitar at the beginning. Nothing Left to Lose, the other relatively long song clocking in at a little over five minutes, is a slow blues song, which when played to the right listener, a band can never go wrong when the rhythm is as smooth and the lead guitars are as sharp as Shotgun Sawyer make them on this track.
I often review EPs that I think are great, and I usually say how I wonder if the band could have maintained such momentum throughout a whole LP worth of songs. There haven’t been many occasions where I eventually review a whole album by these bands, so getting this chance with Shotgun Sawyer is a treat. I can indeed say that Thunderchief the LP maintains the momentum started on the EP earlier this year perfectly to the point that I feel this album is probably just as good, maybe a little better but certainly not at all worse than the EP.
Follow Shotgun Sawyer on Facebook.
“Sudden Death in the Flesh” – Though this was on the original Thunderchief EP and it wasn’t the highlight then, I feel with a full album around it, this song proves better than my original pick for a highlight (Skinwalker) to represent the album as a whole for first time listeners.
7.5 (Out of 10)
|2.||Sudden Death in the Flesh||3:20|
|4.||That’s the Working Man||2:25|
|5.||I’m a Bad Man||3:39|
|7.||Nothing Left to Lose||5:11|
|9.||Left For Dead||2:51|