GUNSHINE - Checkmate (Album Review)

GUNSHINE – Checkmate

Gunshine’s EP Checkmate delivers classic heavy hard rock, from beginning to end. 2022’s self-titled album had no filler, and with only 5 songs, Gunshine easily avoids any clunkers on their latest EP. I’m not sure if I should be mad that we only got five new songs or happy that at least we got five new songs and don’t need to wait for a full album.

The band out of Florida realizes the vision of guitarist Austin Ingermanto be a fresh, edgy rock n’ roll band.” With James Renshaw on drums, Jordan Benson on vocals, and Pat Brown on bass, they make some of the best windows-down, stereos-up hard rock going right now. As far as 80’s arena rock band-influenced music with a modern flair goes, Gunshine‘s new EP proves they’re among the best.

The first track on the EP is a well-crafted melodic hard rock song—think Skid Row with a bit of Florida Panhandle swagger. “90 Proof” showcases each member with tiny little solos, culminating in Ingerman‘s creative shredding.

The video for the single “Swing Away” takes place in a boxing ring. It’s the perfect venue for the Guns ‘n’ Roses-esque song. It’s a great choice for a single and includes anything you’d want in a rock video: sex, drums, and rock and roll. Be sure to check the solo on this track too. Ingerman seriously rips.

The remaining songs are as good as the first two. The album closer, “Until the End of Days” grooves for a bit before taking a turn into an ambitious, sprawling epic. It’s more “November Rain” than Iron Maiden‘s “Seventh Son of a Seventh Son,” and has the potential to be their “Free Bird.”

This band is a cohesive unit pumping out what can only be described as kick-ass rock and roll. Classless Act may have scored the opening slot on last year’s Stadium Tour, but Gunshine should take the next go-around. If you put together the 2022 debut—which made my top 10 list—with Checkmate, Gunshine‘s pumped out the equivalent of a double album in a year. The output is impressive on its own, but the quality differentiates these guys.



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Gunshine – Swing Away (Official Music Video)

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