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Design By Humans
Published On: Thu, Sep 11th, 2014

Shaman’s Harvest: Smokin’ Hearts & Broken Guns

shaman's harvestShaman’s Harvest
Smokin’ Hearts & Broken Guns
(Mascot)

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Driving guitars, a staccato verse beat, singable tough chorus and Nathan Hunt’s strong, rangy road growl opens the new Shaman’s Harvest album, Smokin’ Hearts & Broken Guns with the song “Dangerous”

A muted roiling guitar and subtle doubled harmony vocal (with some added background vocals) fuel a layered, rockin’ “Here It Comes.” I like the verses to this one especially, with its heavy, No Doubt vibe and again Hunt’s truly smart use of his very distinctive pipes (especially when one considers he battled throat cancer during the recording of this album, his vocals are all that more amazing). We also get the first real lead from Ryan Tomlinson.

The almost rock gospel, “Blood In the Water,” has a truly masterful, cool opening harmony and another great Hunt vocal. The straight-ahead snap and groove of “Country As Fuck” is a rangy, wild ride with Tomlinson riffing all over, Josh Hamler strumming loud and splashy and Matt Fisher pushing his bass up front as the band stops at the end of each chorus to shout the title of the tune.

There’s a heavy rockin’ cover of “Dirty Diana” here, with Tomlinson and Hamler trilling and picking through verses until the exploding chorus. “In Chains” might be my favorite; it’s wildly commercial (in a good way) as Hunt explores sonic territory he has yet to on this album and the entire band behind him is in lock-step with a big groove. This is great, great stuff. The sweet, slower, piano-led (at least in the beginning) “Silent Voice” with plucky acoustics and soaring Tomlinson lead at its end is another killer.

Smokin’ Hearts & Broken Guns is one of the most fleshed-out productions from a strong band I have heard all year.

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Shaman’s Harvest: Smokin’ Hearts & Broken Guns