Devil Riding Shotgun – S/T   1 comment

Devil Riding Shotgun are high on charismatic grooves and low on self-indulgent bullshit and that is exactly what makes this band so good. The band was originally formed in New Mexico by bassist and vocalist Neb Fixico but he moved himself and the tunes to Portland, Oregon in 2009 and have delivered their no-bull, kick ass rock ever since. The self-titled album with its classic Stoner-Metal album art featuring a cute devil-horned girl sitting on a hot-rod gives you the impression this might be another Fu Manchu kind of band with a cock-rock attitude. Put the album on though and you get something much more down-to-earth and stripped down and above all else ballsy. The five songs presented here are all groove-based but delivered with an almost mellow, relaxed vibe that still retains a metallic edge so this is a band that doesn’t fall easily into a particular genre. For the sake of this review, I will call them “Hard Rock” and leave it at that.

Along with Neb Fexico, the other band members Brain Hunter on guitar and Brad Lewellyn on drums are also a no-bullshit bunch of musicians, there is nothing fancy here, no self-indulgent, long-winded jams, no musical complexities,  but what it might lack in diversity, it makes up for it in bluesy, groovy riffs and very charismatic vocals. Opening track “Lost” gets off to a rumbling start before launching into a tune that shows these three dudes have a certain chemistry working for them. The grooves here are bass-heavy, the vocals are laid-back and bluesy while the drums crash and smash but driven by a relaxed kind of energy. The guitar work isn’t pretentious or over-blown but some of the lead here, simply shreds. The vocals are maybe the key to how much you like this band, his laid-back style might not be for everyone but I dig his gruff but melodic edge to his voice. Second track “My Breath” features what might be the best guitar work on the EP and also the most infectious grooves. The production on the EP is a little weak however and that doesn’t help the bass and drums too much in terms of giving the guitar a solid back-line. It is not a major issue though as the songs are great and the production gives the tunes a unique personality.

“Who Am I” is the perfect song to knock back a few beers to, the groove backed up by an incredibly infectious laid-back feel reminds me of the kind of vibe you get from most of Brant Bjork’s records, it is different musically but the “cooler than shit” attitude is everywhere. “Here We Go” has a old-school metallic edge to it, something very 80’s about this but I can’t put my finger on exactly where it is coming from. The closing track “Fetish” is the heaviest track on offer here, the tune is boosted in the heavy department by the bite of the guitar work from Brian Hunter that shows the band are not one to simply succumb to clichés. The 25 minutes of this EP is solid without showing off in one direction, it is all grooves and infectious but with laid-back melodies. The hardest thing to do here is to recommend it to any one type of listener, after all Stoner-Rock it is not really, nor is it sludge and it is not overly metallic either but it still kicks ass in a very charismatic way so I am stumped to compare this band to anyone else but at the end of the day, that is usually a good thing. This band could go either way in the future from a mainstream following to appreciation from the underground or both, not many bands have that going for them. Please give them a listen and be one of the first to say you heard them before they made it big, if any band has that potential, it is Devil Riding Shotgun.……8/10
Devil Riding Shotgun @ Myspace

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Posted November 22, 2010 by doommantia in Devil Riding Shotgun

One response to “Devil Riding Shotgun – S/T

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  1. Hmmm wondering if this is the same Neb Imet online a few years ago…the poet. wow.

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