The last few years have seen an absolute barrage of bands reforming from the ashes left behind in the wake of acrimonious break-ups, changes in “fashion”, need for change and a whole host of other reasons. After less than 10 years together, 1997 saw Glaswegian band GUN split up after hving burned brightly with some polished songs that quite happily more than dented the Top 40 back in the days when Radio 1 counted and played music that crossed a number of different styles.
“Break the Silence” is the band’s second set of new material since they got back together in 2008. 2009’s “Popkiller EP” saw the guys develop from their initial, live performance resurrection and featured Rock-Zone UK favourite Toby Jepson on vocals but the 2012 version of GUN sees a bit of a change in line-up. Following Toby’s decision to vacate his role, vocal duties have been taken over by Dante Gizzi (previously the bass player!) and what a fantastic decision. Some have described him as sounding similar to a certain Axl Rose but to my mind he is his own man. That said, the vocal sound of GUN in 2012 is more like their early days than comparisons with differnt bands!
From the opening bars of opener “Butcher Man” and it’s singalong chorus the guys set the scene for an album to light up any party. Big riffs and choruses bring a pop/rock sensibility that just encapsulate summer parties (and, dare I say it, the fun mentality that seemed to have been destroyed when grunge came along!). The title track blends new millenium production and beats with an amazingly catchy chorus – performed with the passion rrely seen in bands just starting out, let alone those whose history goes back a little, ahem, further!
Not satisfied with the uptempo grooves, GUN can still seliver the slower more melodic stuff too as shown with “How Many Roads” and “Running Out of Time” (which starts with a guitar riff that brought to mind “House of the Rising Sun”) – but Dante is more tan able to wear his heart on his sleeve when covering the more plaintive side of life’s journey.
The key to any great song is how it copes without the gloss and shimmer given in the studio. I was fortunate to be a guest at a recent album play back event, where GUN also performed an acoustic set. The energy and spirit of the guys was clear for all to see but even more importantly their songs (old and new) have a brilliance that doesn’t need the full electric/studio glitz to stand apart from the crowd.
However many great bands make their comeback over the coming years, “Break the Silence” is how to make a comeback record!
“Break the Silence” is available now on Ear Music
More information available from www.gunofficial.co.uk
Review by David Wilson