Sister Shotgun - 'Fragments'

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Sister Shotgun - 'Fragments'

A highly impressive debut release.

Sister Shotgun hail from my neck of the woods in the West Midlands. Though they formed as long ago as 2011, 'Fragments' is their debut full-length album, which follows on from their 2017 'Devour' EP. However, it doesn't sound like a debut release at all because the impression it gives is more like that of a band unleashing their career-defining third album, such is the confidence and general ambience.

What they have in their arsenal and ensuring they stand out from the crowd of other contemporary-sounding, female-fronted Heavy Metal bands is lead vocalist Chloe Ozwell; not only does she have a truly impressive set of pipes with a fantastic range, but she also has the emotional character to inject true feeling into her delivery. Far from being a one-trick pony, the rest of the group are just as influential on what Sister Shotgun can achieve, the dual guitar work from Benji Tatlock and Niall Wills is jaw-droppingly brilliant, while the rhythm section of bassist Tim Chambers and drummer Dave Harvey lay the astounding bedrock from which everything emanates.

The songs themselves, whilst undoubtedly bordering on the heavier end of what we cover in 'Fireworks', remain highly melodic and memorable throughout. The likes of 'Sacred Heart', 'She Lives', the fast and furious 'Kill The Lights', the highly commercial 'From The Ashes' and 'Mourning Iris' are energetic, cleverly written Metal anthems that demonstrate occasional flickers of a Progressive nature in their arrangements which assist in maintaining the interest. Then there is the album's pièce de résistance, the simply astounding 'For The Love Of Hate'. It's an emotionally moving ballad with a powerful message in the lyrics and a song that could (and rightly should) become their 'Stairway To Heaven'.

For sure, 'Fragments' is contemporary, female-fronted Heavy Metal and maybe it does get a little shouty on the odd occasion, but that doesn't actually tarnish what is a highly impressive debut release. Without a doubt, it truly earmarks Sister Shotgun as a band to watch out for.

Ant Heeks

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