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Shooting Stansfield – We Know Not What We Do EP review

As Dr. Gonzo, drug-addled sidekick in Hunter S. Thompson’s classic Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas once put it, “I need a rising sound.” Granted, I’m not asking you to throw my laptop in my bathtub with me while at the point where “Blue Turns to Black” peaks, but I can definitely identify with the sentiment behind it. The song-long crescendo is a field many recent indie bands have been working on, and it’s something that I just keep finding myself enjoying over and over again.

And I knew I’d like this, and like it a lot. From the start of “Blue Turns to Black,” with those gorgeous chiming guitars and a rolling, propulsive rhythm. That was before it got to building – when it hits its peak, with dramatic drum hits and an arresting vocal, I realize that I’ve found a band who really, really needs to put a full album out. Bands who take the “verbing noun” approach to naming themselves simply don’t have the right to be this good, but as this EP goes on, the band proves that this great, great opener was no fluke. They really know how to run this song-long crescendo thing.

The next two songs, “Greater or Lesser” and “Sign of the Times” are very much in the same mold. They both use chiming, shimmering post-rock guitars (appropriate given the crescendos, no?) to terrific effect – the ending of “Sign of the Times” has them kick in at full force, coupled with droning guitar, and it’s beautiful – combined with acoustic guitars that lend the proceedings a rootsy vibe, and they’re both pretty much great, especially the latter and its fantastic ending. “Blue Turns to Black” is probably the best song here as a whole, but my favorite moment is the best individual moment here.

They change things up considerably with “Satellites,” but the results are as memorable as ever. This one actually doesn’t have any sort of crescendo, instead combining a marching beat, peaceful vocal harmonies, and just a little guitar crunch. If you twist it around a little, you could almost make a great pop song out of it, but it’s also absolutely fine as it is now. “There Are No Greater Truths” is also a little bit of a change, bringing some mysterious sounding guitars to the band’s usual dramatics, and it’s nice to hear them stretch their legs and still come out sounding great.

So in short, this band has a lot of potential and I’d love to see them put a full album out. This already has some of the aspects of a full album: a clearly defined sound, some variety, great sequencing (“Black Turns to Blue” is such a great opener), so if the songs hold this band has good things coming in their future.

By Christopher William Schahfer

An English major from Detroit who's been writing about music for about ten years now. It's good stuff, I'm tellin' ya - great way to organize my opinions and thoughts and, more importantly, get to the bottom of why I think the way I do.

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