Shotgun Revolution – IV Review

I was so confused when I picked up Shotgun Revolution for review a few weeks ago. I thought for sure someone here reviewed them already on this site, but a cursory search returned zero results. Then, I suddenly remembered I was thinking of Shotgun Rodeo, and all was right with the world again. So, I downloaded my totally up-for-grabs promo and smashed that heckin’ play button. Instantly I teleported to 2005, when post-grunge and hard rock saturated every radio station on the East Coast. I thought this kind of thing was pretty much dead in the water, but I guess I was wrong. And to be honest, I do miss it sometimes, but I’m not positive I miss it enough to buy into Shotgun Revolution‘s fourth album IV.

Nostalgia reigns supreme on this record. Few things elicit such a clear and vivid set of memories as much as music that is no longer my preference, but Shotgun Revolution match the sound of 2005-2009 almost perfectly. Vocals sound clean and well-executed, with a constant undercurrent of roughness and a ton of snarl over the top. Melodies drive every song, despite the fact that groove-laden, bar-crawling guitar licks and riffs occupy the majority of the soundstage.1 Drumming largely sticks to what’s simple and effective, but the tones are satisfying and impactful more often than not. Thankfully, they throw a few quasi-metallic breakdowns—and one particular piece of noteworthy axe art that caught ear at the very last minute—which keep my attention above the baseline.

As far as highlights go, the absolute king of the tracklist on IV is “Enter the Fire.” I thoroughly enjoy this song. It’s hella catchy and I feel compelled to sing along with the chorus regardless of circumstance. It sounds like the moneymaker of the record, and if making money is the goal, I can’t imagine a better song to get the job done. I also dig the chorus on “Black Angel” more than most of the rest, simply because it’s fun and simple. Closer “After the Storm” serves the record well, too, with slightly more interesting riffs that make me think the guitarist(s) listen to trver fare in their spare time. Lending a helping hand to this music’s effectiveness, the production creates chunky tones and just enough depth to prevent feeling cloistered by compression. It’s a thoroughly modern sound, but it’s balanced well in my estimation.

Unfortunately, most of the material outside of the aforementioned highlights fails to stick. There’s nothing to hold onto here that hasn’t been done decades ago by bands who were better versed in the style. And, let’s be honest, even then most of the genre standouts bled into each other. Shotgun Revolution sound for all the world like they love what they’re doing, and I’m convinced they put on a great live show based on the energy this album exudes, but songs like “Café of the Damned,” “Claustrophobia” and “Silent Torture” can’t convince me that I need this album in my life. In fact, the bulk of IV, while executed competently, reminds me of why I haven’t listened to anything from my high school days—when I ate this stuff up like crazy—in years. It never changes, never matures, experiments or evolves. Occasionally, Shotgun Revolution offer some kind of hint that they are capable of something more, but they never capitalize on those opportunities to break the mold.

I guess the be-all end-all message of this review should be that Shotgun Revolution are onto something here. They have a few tiny moments of inspiration that I never expect from this genre, and because of that I want them to push harder. I want them to leave the mid-aughts behind once and for all and create a post-grunge hard rock record that is genuinely interesting from front to back. IV is certainly not that record, but for the first time in a long time, I’m rooting for the four piece from Copenhagen to create something that nobody asked for, that nobody looks for, but that nobody can resist.

Rating: 2.0/5.0
DR: 7 | Format Reviewed: 320 kb/s mp3
Label: Self-Released
Websites: |
Releases Worldwide: February 5th, 2021

Show 1 footnote

  1. Look, ma! I’m using big-boi sound words!
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