@planetmosh reviews Frantic by .@gunofficaluk
Back in 1996 I went to my first ever stadium gig, Bon Jovi at Ibrox, Glasgow. A few things stick in my mind from that day. The intro to Lay Your Hands on Me being played by a pipe band, the entire Glasgow Rangers squad in the row in front of me singing and dancing, being impressed and a bit scared of Skunk Anansie, and having a right good singsong when Glasgow’s own Gun played Word Up. As singer Dante told me in a recent interview, lots of kids these days don’t actually know that was a cover, the Gun version is so well known it’s just assumed it’s their song. It might as well be, in my opinion it’s certainly the best version.
Anyway, since then Gun have gone through some changes. New members have come and gone, there’s been a pretty long hiatus, but they came back in 2012 with Break the Silence, and with new album Frantic they are sure to be back to stay. There’s always a bit of doubt in the mind when bands come back after a break. Have they still got what it takes? Will they be a shadow of their former selves? Not in this case. The backbone of the band is still there in brothers Dante and Jools Gizzi, with Dante now taking on lead vocals, joined by Paul McManus on drums and Johnny McGlynn on guitars and it seems to be a very settled combination.
On first listen Frantic just flies by. Listen once and dismiss it at your peril though, there are some great tracks in there. It’s catchy, sometimes in danger of being a bit poppy but Dante’s voice and some great guitars rescue it and put it firmly back on the rock plane. There’s actually loads of influences from different genres on here, from the gospel-esque intro to Let it Shine to the pure pop of Our Time and the classic Gun rock sound in One Wrong Turn. Back in 2010 they released an EP, Popkiller and I’m really glad the track Seraphina has made it from there onto Frantic. I remember hearing it back when Popkiller came out and it’s just the most ridiculously singalong song, you honestly can’t help yourself. The best track on the album by a country mile is Beautiful Smile. The vocal effects make it by far the most original, standout track, the guitar solo in the middle is brilliant. I’d actually love to hear that track live, it’s immense.
Gun are one of those bands that have been around forever, and are haunted by the ghost of a massive hit that makes people forget they have other work that’s well worth a listen. I don’t think Frantic has the next Word Up on it, but it’s still well worth your time. The band are on tour this month, and Frantic is released on the 23rd.
Let It Shine
Labour of Life
One Wrong Turn
Hold Your Head Up
Never Knew What I Had