As regular readers will know (All like 15 of you) I have a very strong tendency to find myself in the musical dive bar. Technicality and subtlety get tossed in the gutter in pursuit of greazier and greazier grooves. While I like to spend most of my time in these dirty places, sometimes you have to come up for air and see what the classier breed of folk are doing up on the surface.
So with a quick peek out from my pit, I scrabbled around and grabbed something to cut through the grease. Shogun Assassins just happened to be close at hand, and boy are they just what the doctor ordered. Their EP, “Blue Liquid, Black Sounds, Red Display” sliced through my distortion filled haze with a lemony-fresh edge of smooth and simple bluesy jams.
If the band name, album title or general description didn’t give you an idea, Shogun Assassins take their styling cues from the golden ages of rock and roll. The calm and free influences of the 60’s find themselves in a comfortable standoff with the musicality and psychedelica of 70’s rock. As with all awesome riffs, everything starts with the guitar tone, and the Assassins have nailed it down just short of vintage and well out of modern.
The entire EP sounds like something written decades ago but recorded and played today. The songs are nimble and playful, flitting around the soundscape, not encumbered by fancy effects or overwhelming fuzz. Everything is just so…crisp. All the instruments shake hands with one another and play together in a perfect, blissful harmony. It’s the kind of music that anyone can listen to and enjoy, timeless and always appealing.
All the bad things I have to say about this EP can be summed up as, it’s too damn short. I could spend many lazy afternoons with a beer and/or something else in my end, with nothing else but the hot sun and these delightfully mellow sounds.
There is good news though and that comes in the for of plans for a full length release in the near future. I’ll be keeping an eye out for it just as you should be because these boys are onto something and I for one, look forward to seeing where it goes.