American Sixgun - The Devil in Your Bones
Record Label: Eulogy Recordings
Release Date: November 23, 2009
In a world where new, mediocre bands are trying to call what they play “rock music,” American Sixgun emerge with their debut record The Devil in Your Bones, a throwback to classic rock’s heyday. It is an album full of good hooks that are sure to provide listeners with a fist-pumping good time. That’s not to say that this record is without its flaws, because it certainly has its sub-par parts, but that is to be expected with a debut. Regardless, American Sixgun - with Zach Neil on vocals and guitar, Josh Bodwell on guitar and vocals, Tim O’Grady on bass and vocals, and Mike Lucchetti on drums - easily establish a name for themselves on this release.
Kicking things off is “Friends and Lovers,” the best possible opening for the record as its opening riff immediately calls to mind good old fashioned classic rock. Its verses are good, its chorus is catchy as Neil sings “everyone I know has done me wrong,” and the guitar solo is also impressive. Next is “The Devil in You,” which contains a decent opening and better verses and vocals that include lines such as a “long and lonely highway leads to a lonely home.” The pre-chorus is lackluster but the chorus makes up for it effectively and the guitar work is again excellent in the bridge. “Rollin’ Away” opens with acoustic guitar that continues throughout the verses. It’s a slower song and it delivers, although it is a departure to a more modern rock sound than the classic vibe of the two previous tracks.
As “Mister Pretender” comes on, the hard and fast guitars return with quality riffs, but the verses fail to pack as much of a punch. However, the chorus is again quite good as are Lucchetti’s drums in the bridge. “Dirty Lovin’” starts up afterward with rockin’ riffs and verses that are sure to get listeners moving. The lyrical content is also interesting as Neil sings of how a woman loved him, but “did it all for the money.” The chorus here doesn’t live up to the quality of the rest of the song, but the guitar work does, especially in the bridge during the solo. Next is “Rockstars Never Die,” which opens with good work on the drums that soon leads into a sing-a-long chorus. The bridge is good with the previously-mentioned drum work and the lyrics capture the stereotype of a rockstar’s life as Neil sings, “I’ve got an addiction, it keeps me under cover... I’m never gonna die.”
“Let it Ride” opens up like a true rock ballad and is a decent love song, even though Neil’s vocals definitely work better in the faster songs. Following “Let it Ride” is “Hand in the Till,” which has a good riff to kick things back into gear as Neil sings of how a person is eventually going to get what is coming to him or her with lyrics like “you’d sell yourself for a buck / your time’s come, you’re out of luck.” The music, at times, does overshadow the vocal work, though. “Break It” is hard-hitting right away and its chorus is good as Neil sings, “I’m a killer, I’m a kiss, I’m a lover, I’m a fist.” Closing out the record is “All for Lovin’ You,” an excellent choice to be the final song. It is quite radio-friendly and carries a poppier tone to it. It is extremely catchy all around with lyrics like “Everything I had to do, I did it all for loving you.” It just might be the best song on the record and it is very memorable, making sure to get itself stuck in the heads of listeners.
The Devil in Your Bones is quite a debut from this young band, and while it does have its flaws, it is still worth a purchase. If American Sixgun can work on their songs to make every part good, then their next release will be a force to be reckoned with. Until then, though, this debut effort is extremely impressive and provides listeners with a much needed journey back into the spirit of classic rock.