Every so often I hear a record which just stops me in my tracks, the sort of record that even though I’m hearing for the the first time I just have to say to myself “fuck me that’s good!”. Spectral Laundromat by Shooting Guns is one such record. Were that not enough, this album is made up of jams that the band did between their debut album ‘Born To Deal In Magic: 1952-1976′ (originally released in 2011, but re-issued on the same day as this one by Captcha and Cardinal Fuzz) and the next one, ‘Brotherhood of the Ram’ in 2013. This is a band who are totally fucking there on this release and I wish I could have been in the room with them when the did it.
The thirteen minute opener ‘Flaire’ is a slow menacing track which lurks in your brain tearing away strip after strip of your sentience, getting to the very nub of your existence. This is a huge heavy number that just keeps on pummelling away until resistance can largely be regarded as being futile. In the end you just have to give in, zone out, and go with it…and it just keeps on going and going like a glorious drug that just keeps on giving and giving…relentless and exhausting yet by the end somehow cathartic.
Having been mauled by ‘Flaire’ the other track on side one, ‘Trans Night’, takes advantage of your vulnerability and acts like a siren cajoling and coaxing you into a wonderfully blissful state. This is an altogether calmer track with wonderfully soaring electronics and a gentle repetitive riff that really gets inside your head. But while ‘Trans Night’ applies the balm to heal the burning ‘Flaire’ there is also a sinister undertone to this track that prevents you from getting too comfortable.
Side two opens with ‘Heads Blues’, which starts very calmly with a simple, as the title suggests, blues-orientated melody. At a very early stage, though, you know that this is going to build up into something satisfying as once again you totally zone out and just submit to the spaced out repetitive power of the music. On one level this track sounds quite benign, but listen to it intently for the full eleven minutes and it pays out in spades. The final track on the album ‘Deepest Purple’ is an amazing raw cut that is probably the most complex on the album, a huge monster of a jam that sounds like Deep Purple on steroids. This track is everything a great jam should be, an amazing riff that the band come back to time and again while seemingly slipping through endless gears that just keeps taking the track on one high after another. This number is nothing short of bloody amazing, and well worth the entry price on its own.
It’s difficult for me to find the right superlatives for this album, but safe to say that if you like to zone out to your music, and if you like to hear the sound of a band just kicking back and playing without all the shit that often gets in the way of life then this is for you. It’s pure, it’s raw and by the time you’ve heard the last bars of ‘Deepest Purple’ you will know that you’ve witnessed something special and probably want to start the thing all over again.
The heavyweight vinyl for ‘Spectral Laundromat’ will be on Toxic Yellow vinyl and housed in a heavyweight 350g sleeve.