Dakota Blood Stampede by Shotgun Facelift is an exhilarating album. It was recorded with the band’s live energy in mind and sought to capture it. As a result, this album is as real as it gets. The band tracked every song playing together, all at once. When someone messed up, everyone had to sit in on a do-over. It was exhausting for the band and their producer Tyler Pilot, but the proof comes through in the recording.
The energy there is unmistakable, but more important is the deep and personal nature of the songs on the album… With the first single “Bury Me” the band fires back at the conservative culture in their home state of North Dakota. With so many in the local scene praying for the band’s demise and even wishing actual harm upon the band members for being in a heavy metal band, the song shows their resistance in being able to stand up against them, embrace their hatred, and use it to become stronger.
“Suicide Eyes”, is about the eyes of addiction, abuse, and despair. The band takes mental illness very seriously, and they write about it a lot in a non-exploitative manner because every band member suffers from some form of it deeply. “5 Dollar Bastard” is another song which is deeply personal to the band, especially vocalist John Huber. Many years ago, he had a loved one hand him a check for what he thought John was worth, valuing him at just five dollars. He never forgot that moment, how it made him feel to realize what this person really thought of him, and he wrote the lyrics for this song as a statement of conviction to make that individual choke upon that five dollar debt.
If there ever was an album where a band “lets it all hang out” while confronting their demons, Dakota Blood Stampede is it!
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