SHOTGUN RODEO have been treating heavy metal fans to their genre-blurring brand of hard and heavy music since they first formed in Trondheim, Norway in 2008. Describing themselves as “Heavy Metal on Steroids”, the band released EP’s ‘Dead End Massacre’ (2012) and ‘Guilty As Charged’ (2013) prior to releasing their debut album ‘World Wide Genocide’ in 2015, which received rave reviews by both national and international press. EP ‘The New Standard’ followed the following year, which also impressed industry critics. Now ready to release their sophomore album, ‘By Hook Or By Crook’, out on Mighty Music on 24th August 2018, the band have already put out the first single from the new album, a cracking, hard hitting track called ‘Fort Knox’ that we played on the Down The Front Podcast, episode 78. You can watch the video here:- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l8OWV7w7LNQ
Album opener is the titular track and from the outset it’s a full on aural assault. It’s clear that these guys mean business! This song is loud and in your face but the technical prowess is evident. The dynamic rhythm section of Doomfang on drums and Grimmo D. B. on bass is a real powerhouse. From the moment ‘Taking My Life Back’ starts with its booming bass and thwacking drums that carry the track along, it’s obvious this is a headbanger of a tune. There’s some serious riffage from Don Shrediablo and Nino Escopeta’s vocals add extra emotion and depth. Onto ‘Fort Knox’, a song that some may be familiar with if they are listeners of the DTF podcast. It’s quite slick and reminiscent of ‘90s rock in parts, but there are so many other elements to this track. Escopeta’s vocals overlaid with the backing vocals on this track sound incredible, the rhythm section of Grimmo D. B. on bass and Doomfang on drums are in perfect sync and Shrediablo’s riff are just sublime.
What can I say about ‘Y. O.P. B.’ apart from it’s BRILLIANT! It combines elements of rap and rock and melds them together to create a funky, melodic track that will have you headbanging, swinging your hips, waving your arms in the air and singing along…yes, I must confess, after it was revealed what ‘Y. O. P. B.’ stands for and I’d finished laughing out loud (and almost scaring my dogs to death in the process!), I did all of the above! I can imagine this will become a crowd favourite at gigs, with everyone singing along and pumping their fists in the air. The riffs at the beginning of ‘Blaming the Kremlin’ are out and out heavy metal. This is a track that focuses on the hard and heavy elements with loud and aggressive drums and bass taking centre stage, with those proficient riffs weaved throughout the song like the thread on a tapestry. It’s rock solid and hits you right in the chest like a ten ton weight.
‘The Bandwagon Syndrome’ is a message about not selling out or being a people pleaser, all wrapped up in a package of pounding drums, pulsating bass lines, pulverising guitar riffs and passionate vocals. The movie quote “I am the devil and I am here to do the devil’s work” (from ‘The Devil’s Rejects, 2005) precedes the opening bars of ‘Shooting Slugs’. Like its predecessor, this is a hard and heavy track, with riffs aplenty and an infectious melody that’s like an incessant wasp following you around. When ‘Human Hand Grenade’ starts quite gently I’m almost fooled into thinking this will be a slower song…but no, the pace picks up immediately and becomes a riff-heavy track packed full of big crunchy walls of guitars, with vocals that go from high pitched to growly in the blink of an eye. ‘Stereotypical’ is brash and in your face from the outset, with lots of dextrous drum work from Doomfang and changes of tempo throughout. ‘Tony Iommi’ is a tribute to the man himself, heavy on the riffage as you might expect and with fantastic lyrics, it’s well worth a listen. The melodic, intricate riffs in ‘I Am The Silver Bullet’ are a real treat for the ears; it’s a track that is so intense but catchy at the same time, like most of the songs on this album. ‘Bastardize The World’ starts with an aggressive intensity that sets the tone for the snarling vocals about corruption in the world. Album closer ‘Twist Of The Knife’ has the powerful, pounding drums of Doomfang and intensive, chugging bass of Grimmo D. B. combination that drive the song forward, with a seemingly endless supply of riffs from Shrediablo that sound effortless but I’m sure are anything but, and vocals from Escopeta that show his range and power to the max.
In Shotgun Rodeo I can hear elements of classic rock, heavy metal, ‘90s rock, thrash, rap/rock and others; this band really do defy classification. All I know is, the tunes are infectious with hooks that are melodious, aggressive, heavy, hard hitting with a side order of groove and catchy as hell! I bet they are AMAZING live. I’m off to order Shotgun Rodeo’s back catalogue and hope they tour the UK pretty damn soon!
Shotgun Rodeo are:-
Nino Escopeta - vocals
Don Shrediablo - guitars
Grimmo D. B. - bass
Doomfang - drums
‘By Hook or by Crook’ track listing:-
By Hook Or By Crook
Taking My Life Back
Y. O. P. B.
Blaming The Kremlin
The Bandwagon Syndrome
Human Hand Grenade
I Am The Silver Bullet
Bastardize The World
Twist Of The Knife
Find out more about Shotgun Rodeo here:-