Natalie Zina Walschots
Shooting Guns are a wonderful anomaly. The instrumental, psychedelic doom metal band from Saskatoon recently had their album Born To Deal In Magic: 1952-1976 included on the Polaris Prize Long List, to my utter surprise and delight. Rather than approach the task of making an instrumental record as a chance to show off pure technical prowess or generate a dense and impenetrable soundscape, Shooting Guns wanted to just make a damn good metal record. There is something pure and classic about the sound of this album, which has all the fuzz and monolothic riffing of Saint Vitus or early Black Sabbath. “Harmonic Steppenwolf” is the lead track off this record, and it sets the tone perfectly. The song has a deep, luscious groove that lulls the headbanger into a trace, and as the spacey, psych elements come into play, it moves from sweet track to metallic meditation. At the core of this song, there is a pulsing, intoxicating throb that is delicious easy to lose yourself in.