While it’s undoubtedly fair to say that France’s Gunslingers are a rock & roll band at heart, it’d perhaps be more accurate to say that they’re a little bit different from the usual leather jacketed garage rock mob that also try to fly the r’n’r banner. If you were to resurrect Buddy Holly, rough him up a bit (a few choice pills wouldn’t hurt), pair him up with Frank Zappa and have them cover The Cramps, you’d be starting to touch the awesome bizarre-world of Gunslingers.
Despite being released on single-side vinyl, ‘Massacre-Rock Deviant Inquisitors’ is an EP that consists of a single track split in twain, although the differences that lie between the two tracks go well to illustrating the trio’s two-headed approach. Part one is a high-octane burst of surf-rock groove and noisy menace, a hillbilly concoction that sounds lifted straight from a 50s exploitation feature where greasers face off against mean-ass gals who don’t take shit from no-fucking-body in a drag race to the bitter end. Vocals are delivered in an unintelligible drawl that hints at country but settles on attitude, the utterances coinciding with the tortured strains of guitar that attempt to invade the fiery bolero they’ve got going on. Messy and chaotic, it works because the noisy elements of Gunslingers feel the same as the more structured aspects, sharing an unfuckwithable attitude and a loose swagger that lets them run off at wild tangents almost imperceptibly.
Part 2 keeps the same groove but starts to let their psychedelic aspirations steal the show for a little while, the guitars take on less discordant tones but still adopting strange, outré forms that hover about three foot off the solid groove the bass lays down. It has to be noted that the drumming on this never lets up for even the slightest moment, lightly tapping out a constant metallic beat with the desperate energy of a hormonal woodpecker, and as it fuses into the concrete low-end it starts a train of momentum that seems unstoppable. Bursts of six-string molestation rise and fall, ranging from a muted drive to straightjacketed atonality, before the song ends on an understandably abrupt note but this is music that moves so fast and so wildly that there’s no way to decelerate. No, this is noise rock for people who hate noise rock. It’s for when you want to smoke too much, drive too fast and die too young, and it not only loves it but it revels in it.
Scribed by: Dave Bowes