Single Review by Vince Leigh
Loaded with blues rock energy!
The fifth single for Canberra’s The SunBears, Loaded Gun, is another dose of blues rock energy that reveals a little more of the band’s finely sharpened genre focus. The track takes off without any eddying preamble, harnessing a spiky and refined guitar riff whose modulations are closely tracked by the bass and drum parts.
This segues into the verse, toned down to make way for a straighter groove, allowing for some funktinged guitar overlays to help augment the melody. It’s just as sparse as it needs to be for the narrative to flow, and CC Hall’s vocal, to begin its passage from declarative to resolute in the chorus.
The verse’s steady pulse and expanding fervency create an effective counterpoint to the chorus’ mood. Here, we get a shift in tone alongside the descending chord changes and the culminating accents, both reinforcing the lyric as well as providing the track’s central piece of light and shade.
When the second verse appears, it begins to sound more muscular, particularly in the vocal department. We’re led to the guitar solo after the second chorus, whose modulations are well served by Craig Marshalsey’s ambulant and intuitive sounding note choices.
What follows the solo is a splintering of the accents, previously part of the recurring guitar riff, and another attribute that directs us down yet another divergent path; to a deconstructed version of the chorus. It’s one that relies on a close-up of the vocal to make its point.
From here on in, we get another round of the chorus and a final reiteration of the riff.
Distinctive blues style.
Loaded Gun contains enough of the tenets of the blues rock tradition to satisfy devotees of the genre.
It also has, in fair measure, enough of The SunBears’ particular take on the style. The band’s distinctive sensibilities are strong enough to rise to the surface.
The track, when listened to alongside the band’s previous single releases, also gives us a glimpse into what an album might sound like. It’s a scintillating prospect that one dearly hopes is on the horizon.