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GUN - Favourite Pleasures (Review)

GUN, Favourite Pleasures

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 3.5 out of 5

FAVOURITE Pleasures marks the seventh studio album from GUN and it’s a self-consciously back-to-basics affair that blasts its way into your sub-conscious.

Hence, from the opening riffs of She Knows, you get the sense that this band means business. There’s a power and a punch that is all about getting on with it – no frills, no experimentation, just good, honest rock and roll.

That’s not to say it’s a one-trick pony. There are changes in melody at times… moments where songs can display a crossover potential.

Former single Silent Lovers, for instance, eases up on the power a little and adopts a breezier approach that turns it into one of the most anthemic and accessible records on the LP. The guitars are crisp, the chorus chant-worthy and there’s a nostalgic nod to the late David Bowie.

Written shortly after his passing, the band decided to delve back into his extensive back catalogue – reigniting their love for his music. Frontman Dante Gizzi explained: “The one thing we noticed most of all when re-listening to his songs was his ability to completely alter the style of writing while maintaining that Bowiesque feel. A unique and difficult thing to pull off. Something we’ve always wanted to achieve with GUN.”

If Silent Lovers marks the album at its most accessible, then a fine indication of how GUN’s power can be married to something that can still pull down a wider audience comes in the form of Black Heart. This boasts a grungier feel, with a keen sense of foreboding running throughout. Fans of acts like Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, in particular, might like to check this one out. Again, the guitars shine.

The spirit of The Clash’s London’s Calling is apparent in the early percussion elements of Without You In My Life, a foot-stomper that’s born from uncertainty and potential heartbreak. Again, it shows how they can still deliver a powerful blast of energy with deeper lyrical meaning.

Take Me Down is another anthem in waiting, all talk of violent reactions that combine with volatile guitars and pounding drums. It’s an apologetic record (“I hope one day you’ll understand”) but one that still refuses to back down on the power. The chorus packs real punch.

And they even add some glam-stomping to Here’s Where I Am, another of those tracks that finds the band really having some fun. While, for something a little more introspective, try Boy Who Fooled The World, a track that’s full of raw, naked honesty in the way that it offers a little-seen look at another side of the band as they go back to a time of innocent ambition, hungry to break out and seize the world. It’s another highlight.

Oh, and if you opt to buy the deluxe edition of the LP, you’re treated to a couple of keen covers. Arguably the best is GUN’s take on The Beastie Boys’ (You Gotta) Fight For Your Right (To Party), which plays into the band’s strengths. Hence, there’s a glorious guitar solo midway through and a brashness that sounds a natural fit for the song. It’s a riot.

Commenting on the band’s return to a harder sound, frontman Dante Gizzi was immediate in his praise for one of the key factors in it. “The introduction of new guitarist Tommy Gentry has added so much more to the band and to the sound, and it’s a welcome change,” he said. “This is the toughest album we’ve done in a while. It’s up there with Swagger and Taking On The World.”

For GUN fans, it’s simply a terrific return.

Download picks: Silent Lovers, Take Me Down, Black Heart, (You Gotta) Fight For Your Right (To Part, Boy Who Fooled The Worldy

Track listing:

  1. She Knows
  2. Here’s Where I Am
  3. Favorite Pleasures
  4. Take Me Down
  5. Silent Lovers # Black Heart
  6. Without You In My Life
  7. Tragic Heroes
  8. Go To Hell
  9. Boy Who Fooled The World
  10. (You Gotta) Fight For Your Right (To Party)
  11. 20 Storeys
  12. Come Undone
  13. All I Really Need