A marriage made in Govan, Toby (Little Angels) Jepson and a reformed (but only slightly reshaped) Gun
(minus Mark Rankin of course), with the Gizzi brothers, Giulliano and Dante, remaining at the core.
In one of those twists of fate, Glasgow's Gun
became famous for a cover version - in this case Cameo's 'Word Up'
- rather than their own, outstandingly good rock songs.
Machiavellan or just a lucky choice?
They released 3 marvellous albums and 1 good one through 89 - 97, without ever really breaking through into public consciousness.
Consequently they split and only got back together, with Toby Jepson guesting on vocals (Mark Rankin works for Mercury Records now, promoting rising bands. Oh the irony) in 2008.
Several gigs, writing and recording sessions later we have this 5 track startup venture.
And it's phenomenal.
It's a rich mix of the band's traditional hard drivin rock and poptastic tunes, fuelled by thick cut riffs and the obsessive's attention to fine textural detail.
We miss Rankin's rasp, but Jepson's cleaner tones are more suited to the band's slicker, more streamlined sound.
If Greenday had been fed Weezer and The Wildhearts, they might just have come up with opener 'Let Your Hair Down'
and closer, 'The Only'
. Though on the former you can still hear welcome echoes of 'Steal Your Fire'.
We can tell immediately it's an album that wallows in pure sonic pleasure. 'Serafina'
cultivates a melodic rock economy that all bands should aspire to. No flab, no excess baggage.
The anti drugs' song 'Popkiller
' is a blast of tuneful, Pulp-ish smart rock with an inviting hook and a touch of electronica, full of pop brio and a whiff of nostalgia. It's a lesson in how to do it and get it right, with various nods to Dave Edmunds and Jeff Lynne.
The heartbreakingly romantic and memorably melodic 'Ripping Up The Letters'
will have you sighing. This is Powerpop elevated to classical status, with fully fleshed out, undulating harmonies swirling around your head, lovingly borrowed from Brian Wilson and the Alessi
The great thing about 'Popkiller',
the album, is the band members' refusal to allow their past get in the way of their future. They really took a chance with this mini-statement, and risked falling on their faces. But in picking their sharpest, toughest tunes and dressing them up in cutting edge studio minimalism, they may well have elevated garage rock to an art form. Mini album of the month!
Roll on the full album.
Written by Brian
Sunday, February 21, 2010Show all reviews by BrianRatingsBrian: 8/10
Members: No members have rated this album yet.
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