GUN SALOON ESPECIAL - JUNGLE RHYTHM
Released 2022 Reviewed by Kate 31st January 2023 Contact the band directly for a copy!
Gun Saloon Especial are - Francis Bonneaud ‘LePur’ (drums) Denis Stepanetz ‘ElBabuino’ (guitare) Dan Dauvergne ‘Danielsön’ (doublebass/vocals) Special thanks to Vince Ray for the album artwork.
If the capital of country music is Nashville, Tenessee, where is the capital city of psychobilly? London could lay a claim as it’s home to Guana Batz and Meteors, but so could Los Angeles. Perhaps somewhere in northern France should be decided as neutral ground, especially since the French psycho scene is producing some incredible bands at the moment. The hardest rockin’ of these bands must be Gun Saloon Especial, purveyors of ‘Rock’n roll without a cause’, and the Nancy natives have distilled a lifetime in the scene across many bands to create a perfect storm of rock n roll. They’ve played with everyone from the Rumjacks to Pete Doherty via Space Cadets and Demented Are Go in their eleven years as a trio to create a ‘melting pot of psychobilly, surf, hard rock’ and their philosophy is ‘Fun, power, melody….Slapping doublebass and distortion on the way again !’ Jungle Rhythms is their second album, promising ‘psychobilly / power rock’, and boy oh boy, do they deliver…
Zombie Love - It’s the R-rated version of Horrorpops’ Walk Like A Zombie, especially if R also stood for Rock. Opening an album with an undead love duet over tough percussion and bouncing slap bass is a great move.
Zulu Rock - echoes of Batmobile on this number about treasure hunting. Shredding guitar above speedy double bass and fun backing vocals on the chorus makes this the rockabilly track that Indiana Jones would have written on his day off.
Voodoo Doll - These guys have listened to a lot of Mad Sin, or somehow absorbed their essence in this song. It’s another spooky love song and the drummer has gone wild with desire for this mysterious lady. A slow, jazzy breakdown featuring lyrics about all the people the character wants to fight gives way to proper, howling fury psycho.
Sailor Song - Jolly whistles which just get creepier over looping guitar begin the song, and it all gets wilder from there. These aren’t the nice sailors that bands like Skinny Lister sing about: oh no, these are Psychobilly pirates ready to steal your gold and Bedlam tickets. I love the slow nods to shanties and the dramatic tempo changes in this one.
On a Drag Strip - a slow, echoing number with lots of echo and voice over, channeling the Cramps and testing the limits of sustained long notes!
When Women Come Around Me - it’s the single from the album, it’s big and dumb and it’s a lot of fun. You can guess what it’s about from the title (namely, how appealing ladies find Rockin’ men and how much the band enjoy this) and it’s far more classic rock than psycho. Rockstar cliches abound with some incredible guitar over shout along choruses and some real killer slap bass.
In My Coffin - we’re back in the world of psycho with a number about ghostly regrets over a sheer wall of apocalyptic guitar notes.
Cool Cat Graveyard - not a Pet Semetary, instead it’s another slow number walking into post-punk territory. Dan has that deep Nekroman voice which is so very atmospheric. I prefer their faster songs, so around the two minute mark when things get a bit more frantic is far more my scene.
Have a Whiskey - the whistling is a recurring motif, and my suspicion that they’re as into Mad Sin as I am grows when they drop the same effect used on Koefte & Co’s version of ‘I Shot The Sheriff’. Cowboy fun abounds in this bouncy country tinged boozy number that proves their chops across a whole range of genres, and I love the slap bass breakdown over the lonely ‘whoah’.
Space Invaders - echoing percussion drags us into a tight bass line in this video game influenced instrumental. Radio vocal effects all around and twitching static makes us a little nervous.
Cherokee- electronic squeals on the guitar on this tale with ‘Dances With Wolves’ vibes. Loud and Rockin’ with piles of that classic rock guitar and an almost Neil Young breakdown.
Jungle Rhythm - a short, fast paced driving song in which your morning commute continues through the Amazon. Great finish to the album, bookending the record with powerful, grinding rock.
With a third album on the way, Gun Saloon Especial are well into their mission to bring their tunes to the world (‘We like and are in search of playing for different people, old and young, rockers or not…. For many people it’s a discovery to hear a slapping doublebass…’) and this is a rockin’ album you won’t want to miss. France really is emerging as a very exciting place to hear psychobilly, and these guys are surely going to be the highlight of any weekender on the continent.