The Best Albums of 2017, #14











14. Shooting Guns, Flavour Country (Riding Easy)

It’s been so much fun seeing Shooting Guns evolve into one of the finest psychedelic doom bands on the planet. There’s no one else like them, frankly: the music is jam-driven, but the jams they create are of the extremely heavy variety, a jet engine roar that envelops listeners, a constant give-and-take between being anchored by a robust rhythm section and being sent skyward by swirling effects, hazily textured melodies. Although the “doom” label sticks to ambitious bands like tree sap – it’s annoying and you can’t shake it – Shooting Guns always incorporate newer sounds into their work. On their third “official” album (not counting various splits compilations, and soundtracks) they veer towards more of a Deep Purple vibe at times, and other moments see the atmospheric side of their music starting to resemble krautrock pioneers Faust. No question, their soundtrack work, whether the Wolfcop movies or the silent film Nosferatu, has given the band a lot more confidence when it comes to showing their more contemplative side. However, at the core of their music is that ever-present embodiment of sheer power. You go to see Shooting Guns to have your face blown back by the visceral force of their instrumental compositions, and this extremely strong album captures that feeling very well.