Pretty much three years after impressing with their debut EP, French rockers One Last Shot have unleashed their first album to once again have ears and plaudits aroused by their dirt encrusted sound. Even Cowboys Have Sundays is a roar of thrash nurtured ferocity and sonic southern rock liquor but an incitement as punk as it is metal as it is unbridled rock ‘n’ roll.
With their musical instincts and passions raised on nineties thrash metal, the Paris quintet soon stirred local support after emerging with a sound soon drawing comparisons to the likes of Lynyrd Skynyrd, Motörhead, and Guns N’ Roses. It was the First Gear EP in 2014 which sparked broader attention at home and further afield; its bold character and bruising sound as contagious as it was aggressive. Even Cowboys Have Sundays follows in the same vein; bringing a host of flavours, familiar yet forcibly fresh, in a strain of rock ‘n’ roll self-termed as dust metal. Equally though, the album reveals a richer vein of individualism in sound and imaginative songwriting as maturity and adventure collude in a clutch of tracks which feel like old friends in some ways but a voracious new adventure in many more aspects.
Opening with The Gambler, One Last Shot swiftly has appetite and imagination caught, its opening sultry lure of guitar an intoxication soon swallowed by a wall of wiry riffs and robust rhythms. Yet there is a control to the assault which seamlessly embraces more of a prowling than demanding gait as vocals add their own raw but captivating texture to the mix. An unpredictable nature to its overall attack is just as appetising though the song never releases its full aggressive venom, preferring to seduce with melodic and sonic enterprise with its own persuasive toxicity.
A great start is quickly matched and pushed on by One Night Stand, a blaze of classic rock and punk ‘n’ roll with a touch of UK band The Senton Bombs to its irritable contagion. As with its predecessor, and indeed most tracks, involving the listener in body and voice is swift; the encounter another lustfully catchy proposal with a slew of rapacious hooks and swinging energy across its dirty holler before Embrace The Fire draws on old school rock ‘n’ roll for its particular rousing romp. Like a blend of Volbeat and Grumpynators, the song harasses and seduces the instincts to beat one’s rock ‘n’ roll chest; the senses entangled in the melodic rapacity of the guitars as bass and drums drive things with matching zeal. The track is superb, rock from the fifties through to modern day seemingly bullied into one compelling stomp.
The variety of sound and ideation within the album is already apparent by the fourth song and continued as Thou Shall Be Drunk creates a proposition part melodic metal and part grunge punk, all with a nineties toning while Join The Club offers a merger of punk metal and sinuous heavy rock. Both songs are twisted and moulded into seriously enticing temptations with the first especially anthemic and irresistible.
The excellent Hell Mariachi (A Mexican Interlude) takes the imagination into the heart of the desert heat, the two sides of The Bronx mixed with East Coast trash for another mouth-watering and seriously compelling exploit within Even Cowboys Have Sundays; that new maturity and bold imagination within One Last Shot united in an eager charge.
That thrash breeding within the band is in full voracity within Live Fast And Die Young and indeed It’s All About Speed straight after. The first of the two is a chug fest of nagging riffs bound in lustful grooves as vocals, single and mob handed, arouse the spirit even further with an anthemic roar as lustful and unapologetic as the sounds around them. With the guitars weaving a glorious web of melodic dexterity, the song simply rocks before its successor uncages its grubby rock ‘n’ roll to continue the manipulation of the listener’s body and spirit; the track a potent persuasion even if missing some of the vital and unique sparks of earlier tracks.
Closing up with the fiery fusion of predatory metal and imposing heavy rock of We Don’t Call 911 and lastly the groove entangled bellow of I Feel Alright, the song a tenacious web of resourceful and eventful enterprise, Even Cowboys Have Sundays leaves the spirit alive and just a little over excited. The album is a charge of commanding adventure built with recognisable and original textures and bound in a fresh and striking imagination. Their First Gear EP, stirred up a form appetite for their sound, now the album has unlocked a lust which will surely infest many others and deservedly install One Last Shot as someone to heartily recommend to all.
Even Cowboys Have Sundays is out now via JFF Records and available @ https://onelastshotofficial.bandcamp.com/album/even-cowboys-have-sundays
Pete RingMaster 20/06/2017
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