Shooting at Unarmed Men

Look out he's gonna hit ya!
Jon Chapple initially formed “Shooting at Unarmed Men” in 1999 as a sort of goof band not intended for anything serious to come of it. And it may have been nothing more then that except for the breakup of Chapple’s formerly successful band, Mclusky. Mclusky had a huge following in Wales and Chapple needing a place to focus his musical energy put full effort into Shooting at Unarmed Men. Intentionally or not this capitalized on the breakup of Mclusky since it had a huge following of fans heartbroken at the loss. I know that this the case with me and when Shooting at Unarmed Men released their first album in 2005, the same year as the Mclusky breakup, I jumped at it like a junky on withdrawl.

While Shooting at Unarmed Men originally resided in Cardiff, Wales after the second album Chapple moved to Melbourne, Australia. You’d think that would have pretty much killed the sound of the band but I gotta say it hasn’t changed much, which underscores the fact that this really is Chapple’s band. If you listen to their third album, “Triptych” you won’t notice any change in the band’s sound despite having 66% of it’s lineup swapped out. In it’s current Aussie based incarnation the lineup goes like this, Chris Drane(drums), Jon Chapple(guitar) and Patrick Walker(bass). There have been plenty of other members through the years and I even read that Chapple considered having dual bands one in Wales and one in Australia both with the same name so whichever continent he was in he’d always have a crew on-the-ready for playing shows.

For the most part Shooting at Unarmed Men follows the Mclusky formula, slightly hoarse vocals, wacky lyrics and the crunchy aggressive rock sound you’d expect which isn’t a bad thing to say the least. In fact it’s a good thing, a very good thing. I’m sure it’s to their chagrin but it’s hard not to compare them to the former. I find SaUM’s albums to be right in the same vein as Mclusky so much so that it’s almost like Mclusky never broke up and just changed their name. I should note that the two other members of Mclusky with Chapple started a band as well but it’s sound is actually much different then the original band, it’s not a bad thing to try something new but it makes for a more trying listening experience for someone already acclimated to the Mclusky sound. SaUM’s album “Yes! Tinntus!” is on par with anything released by Mclusky it even continues on the evolution of Mclusky, the sound is more honed and confined, overall the album is extremely consistent and I’d suggest it as a first buy to anyone interested in checking out Shooting at Unarmed Men. Below is Shooting at Unarmed Men’s full LP catalog, some of the albums can be tricky to get in the United States as they are imports, checkout Amazon’s used section.

1) Soon There Will Be… [2005]
2) Yes! Tinnitus! [2006]
3) Triptych [2008]
4) With The Youthful Energy of a Zealot [2009]

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