Damien Gunn’s music is rough, wild and impassioned. With his own unique blend of country and rock, these tunes will rattle you one way or another.
‘Rowdy Y’all’ is the ideal starting point for getting stuck in to Gunn’s screaming guitars, perfectly underpinned by a healthy dose of heavy drums that thud and clatter in an epic fashion. While Damien Gunn might not be carving out any new roads in terms of new music, these are the kind of tunes that, depending on your taste, may well get you fired up and excited. At its core, there is the sense here that this stuff is designed to be performed and consumed live – there are moments for headbanging, times for swaying from side to side, and those sweet spot moments of introspection.
‘American Made’ sticks with the same guitar tone and general format, and that really is a good thing. Gunn’s vocals and growling and dark, with flashes of Slipknot to be found in the midst of the softer country tones. It’s on the chorus where the track unfurls and really reveals itself, unrelenting and passionate in its bullet point style delivery that dares you to resist tapping your feet.
On ’10-4 Good Buddy’, there’s a step back (or maybe sideways) to pay homage to some good ol’ fashioned country music. It’s not so much a dance number, but rather the kind of ditty someone might pull out closer to the end of the night while everyone is in a booze haze. The addition of spoken voices give an intimate sense of being amongst friends after a really great night out. This shows where Damien Gunn’s abilities lie in terms of being flexible and able to cover a range of styles, albeit within a certain style and structure. ‘Hillbilly Swagger’, as might be expected, keeps things heading in the right direction, featuring some fun banjo tones and evocative guitar squeals.
‘Truck Drunk’ features some of the most delicious guitar distortion you’re likely to hear this week, and the song runs its course as an easy entry ballad with a chorus that oh so slightly nods towards ‘Sweet Home Alabama’, before brazenly throwing in the opening riff from ‘Back In Black’ as an outro. It’s moments like this, where a musician wears his influences on his sleeve, that it becomes so much more fun to listen to. Rather than trying to hide the influences or step out on a limb to try to forge some new path, Damien Gunn knows what works and does all he can to do it well.
This is exactly what makes listening to music a joy, and I have no doubt that the live shows must be an absolute blast. Make no mistake, as a skinny British indie kid, this isn’t what I generally stick on my iPod, so it’s always exciting when a genre that is usually off my radar is able to get right into my periphery and actually make a significant impact.
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