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El Pistolero – Mexican Standoff

El Pistolero
Mexican Standoff
by Mike McMahan at 17 January 2021, 4:35 PM

Founded in 2012, the German Hard Rock band EL PISTOLERO have recorded several demos, one EP (which is unreleased), and appeared on several German shows. Vocalist Alex “Nighty” Blochmann and guitarist Chris Kaczynski replaced founding member and singer/guitarist Christoph Grunewald in the Spring and Fall of 2019, respectively; and they helped to flesh out the lineup responsible for their Metalapolis Records’ label debut, “Mexican Standoff”. Aided in their quest by booking agent and former DOMAIN and EVIDENCE ONE vocalist, Carsten Shulz, who brought them together with producer Rolf Munkes, EL PISTOLERO has put together a twelve-song sledgehammer of an album. Heavy, brash, and completely unapologetic in their approach to songwriting and performing, the band seems destined to crack into the world of Heavy Rock with this release.

EL PISTOLERO is obviously influenced by the likes of MOTORHEAD, AIRBOURNE, and AC/DC, and their music shows that influence clearly. As I have already stated, these guys are HEAVY, with a raspy, growling vocal delivery throughout, overdriven guitars screaming for mercy, and a pounding rhythm section holding everything together. Much like Australia’s DIRTY RATS, who I reviewed a few weeks back, there is little to nothing “new” to see here. The opening track, “Sticky Fingers”, brings the influences mentioned to light right away. The track is very raw, with a rhythm guitar sound that has the feel of Malcolm Young himself. Alex “Nighty” Blochmann’s vocal sounds as if Bon Scott and Lemmy Kilmister had somehow reproduced, and it sounds this way early and often. The track culminates into a guitar solo that is not overly flashy, and certainly on point with the remainder of the song. Standard and basic balls out rock n’ roll from guys who have a feel for the style.

“Desert Road” follows, offering more of the same. The track could have been lifted straight from an early MOTORHEAD release, with the exception of the lyrical content, which is not nearly as clever. The hard and fast “Stormbringer” (not to be confused with the DEEP PURPLE classic of the same name) holds suit, as well. I have no problem with a band holding true to its influences, especially when their influences need to be kept in the public ear; but there are times on this release that EL PISTOLERO sound as if they are attempting  to regurgitate that which they have heard. The band is not bad, and I’m sure, once they hone the songwriting craft a bit more, they will get what they are after.

Songwriting: 6
Musicianship: 7
Memorability: 6
Production: 6

3 Star Rating

1. Sticky Fingers
2. Desert Road
3. Stormbringer
4. Fear The Reaper
5. Seeds Of Evil
6. Machine Gun Preacher
7. El Pistolero
8. Down Under
9. Still Riding
10. Five Bullets Come In Peace
11. Liquor & Tits
12. Painkillers
Alex “Nighty” Blochmann – Vocals
J.C. Muller – Guitar
Chris Kaczynski – Guitar
Willy Krug – Bass
Andy Hornef – Drums
Record Label: Metalapolis Records


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