There are some albums that impact immediately you press the ‘play’ button – and this is most definitely one of them! SOUND OF GUNS have been around a while, but it is now with the support of Radio 1 and several other ‘big name’ DJs that they are coming into their own.
Normally, when daytime national radio makes a fuss over bands, it’s generally a signal for me to change stations / switch off – I just can’t be doing with all this fawning, patronising and self-congratulatory back-slapping in the glory that they have ‘discovered’ a particular band or artist that all too often is more ‘hype’ than substance.
But I’ve just realised that I’m about to do the exact same! So fair play to Radio 1 this time …. they have my approval!
By their own admission, SOUND OF GUNS are not afraid to appeal to the masses. On the first listen-through however I envisaged their popularity being restricted to a young demographic (with a good proportion of female followers!)
But no – subsequent plays convinced me that these guys have what it takes to cross all age, gender and genre barriers. They are like a rockin’ One Direction! And I mean that as a compliment, in that they have the image, the attitude, the confidence ….. and most importantly, the songs.
Each one of these ten tracks seriously kick ass! SOUND OF GUNS combine hard rocking riffs with heart-felt emotion, but without becoming all schmaltzy or descending into the miserably pained tones of ‘emo.’ And while I’m personally a big fan of hardcore music and ‘screamo’ type vocals, it’s genuinely nice and refreshing to hear a band actually sing for a change!
The vocals throughout are strong and clear, with the backing cover incorporating soaring ‘woah woah’ choruses – ideal for live shows and audience participation. Again, maybe not a comparison immediately appreciated, but there are times (in ‘Flash Of Light’ for instance) when the listener is reminded of what Bono was capable of in the early days of U2.
Every song has an instantly recognisable sing-a-long chorus and while all seem to follow a similar formula, there is enough variation to keep the listener hooked throughout.
And although the vocals obviously lead the way, take a moment to acknowledge the clean and incisive guitar dancing atop the driving rhythm section. You know, sometimes you can just tell – even from a recording where current technology can hide a multitude of sins – when a band is a good ‘fit.’ There seems a genuine relaxed atmosphere about the playing on ‘Angels And Enemies.’ Some bands are quite obviously guilty of ‘trying too hard.’ Not SOUND OF GUNS.
Highlight is the opening track ‘Sometimes,’ the video for which follows. From the moment the opening riffs kick in, you’ll be hooked!
A possible ‘stadium’ band of the future? I would suggest so!
(Released through Distiller Records on 5th March 2012)
(10 / 10)