CD review: SHOTGUN HIGHWAY
By: Dan Brisebois
This explosive 2011 self-titled debut EP is from one of Montreal's hottest and hardest independent groups. Formed in 2007, the band consists of frontman Jesse Racicot, guitarists JD Steel and Tony Midas, Dany Toxik on bass and drummer Tod Diesel. They've honed their chops around the Montreal circuit and gained a devout following for their energetic live shows around the region.
The production on the EP is stellar. Smoothing out the rough edges on a gem, it brings back metal when it was in its glory, and by some accounts, lost over the last decade.
Starting with the lead-off "Cruisin'," it's six tracks of unbridled energy that doesn't let up, fuelled by a dual guitar attack that has a great raw feel, avoiding a 'clumsy' feel often found on debut albums. There's alot of thought put in the songwriting process, with tight hooks, and that rocks from beginning to end.
"Divided" is the most musically complex track, whose relationship theme is powered by strong lyrics and killer guitar solo. "You're The One" is the other power ballad, a tender love song that avoids the "fluff trap." Both songs demonstrate this band's ability to shift gears without losing the listener's audience, and like the entire EP, are written and performed with conviction.
"Edge of Reason," "Dynamite," and "Rock City" all personify this band. They rock with attitude, and are indicative of them being one of Canada's best unkept secrets - for now...
Shotgun Highway has all kinds of potential, and have delivered a great debut album, and every song stands on its own. The only lingering problem is the fact it's only six songs long, but at least that has you eagerly anticipating the follow-up album.