Gun Band 2015 WP

A breezy, muscular pop affords Gun more airplay with a wide stylistic range for a band of rock vintage.

‘Break The Silence’ was a notable Lazarene comeback, leaving Gun with a trick to pull for their second second record.

‘Frantic’ is less dense that its predecessor, it’s lighter, looser, poppier. The production team polish this record to sparkling pop-rock, the dirt from Swagger barely surviving. But the songwriting ethic is strong, and Gun stroll between rock’s colours easily without losing their vivid palette.

Let It Shine is soaked in gospel’s evangelical tones, an uplifting start akin to Primal Scream’s Movin’ On Up; you can see a swaying Bobby Gillespie clapping through his backing vocal take as Dante struts around the studio owning the mike stand.

Lead single Labour of Life gives a good direction of the LP but Beautiful Smile throws the listener with a gritty guitar rhythm, filthy bass and distorted vocal, creating an off-kilter noise, which then batters its way to an out of focus solo; a distant cousin to Something Worthwhile and an anomaly amongst these burnished gems.

Dante’s vocal range is on show throughout, but an evocative appearance on a string-lead title track over rhythms which nod subtly to Krautrock and Berlin Bowie – a feel frequenting a number of tracks – is an awakening to how much the voice the younger Gizzi brother has evolved.

Hold Your Head Up’s energetic combination of Beatleseque ivories, vocal harmonies and searing guitar, create a joyful euphoria where gospel and soul bleed into rock. The jubilant choral climax then ebbs away leaving you with a warm piano to get your breath back.

The road trip singalong continues with Big City as the highway opens for big choruses and Gun’s pop canter becomes a gallop of high energy  rock ‘n’ roll. Seraphina, a reworking from the mini LP ‘Popkiller’, is a guitar killer. The band are loose and shimmy hard reaching their rock peak here; Jools Gizzi’s roaring guitar reaches for the top of the sky in a frenzied, almost frantic, solo.

American 70s FM appeal oozes through Never Knew What I Had, the piano a stand out allowing country guitar to float easily around the vocals. A Beatles vibe is conjured again as it plays out in a stirring finale.

Gun Live WPThere’s a sensational catchiness to ‘Frantic’ which will revolve around your mind through its significant pop slant. There are flashes of epic anthems ready to escape, but you need something left for the live stage, over doing it in the studio leaves you looking very serious.

Dante sings with a youthfulness, lending a fresh, young resonance; his voice may yet to be weathered by constant touring as the front man. Yet, there’s a sensitivity too, especially the contemplative vocal on the final track. But his vitality elsewhere brings a vibrance to the record in-keeping with its lighter sound, enhancing the fun.

‘Frantic’ is less chunky than expected from an established rock band, but as a pop orientated LP it far outweighs Gun’s phone number album in quality. It reveals a pop knack allied with a brazen rock attitude which searches deeper and pushes their fundamental skills further to create another rousing record bursting with spirit.

‘Break The Silence’ was reviewed 9 July 2012.


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