I’ve followed Gun since the beginning. Enjoying seeing live gigs with the likes of Texas and Slide when they were all starting out. Their first album, Taking on the World, was packed full of riff laden tunes. Shame on You, Money and Better Days all songs which I still play regularly.
The three bands went on to varying degrees of success. Gun scored a number of hits and changed line-ups several times over the years. One period had Little Angels Toby Jepson on vocals. I freely admit that this part of the band’s career passed me by slightly as I was never a fan of Little Angels.
However, the ever-present Gizzi brothers have kept the band going and now their settled line up as resulted in a major return to form with recent album Frantic and new release Favourite Pleasures.
The band now consists of Dante Gizzi who moved from bass to vocals. (After taking on lead vocal duties on the excellent El Presidente album). Giuliano (Jools) Gizzi on electric guitar and alongside him, Tommy Gentry. Andy Carr on bass guitar and Paul McManus on drums.
Gun – Favourite Pleasures
I’m going to be really clichéd, but Favourite Pleasures has already become exactly that for me since first listen. I was only four tracks in when I knew the album would be one I listened to often. I’m sure I will still be listening in years to come.
From the off, I’m hooked with the lush opening riffs and Dante’s distinct vocal on “She Knows”. “Here’s Where I Am” bursts into life with is bombastic glam intro thundering on throughout the song. It also reflects shades of Muse (but without the pompous singer). Then its the turn of title track “Favourite Pleasures” with its funk influenced guitars that make you want to jump up and dance, before the familiar gratifying Gun sound on all-out rock number “Take Me Down”. What a start.
Single “Silent Lovers” has an almost Madness like intro and pounding guitar and drums throughout. “Black Heart” another tune full of pulverising hooks and riffs. “Without You in My Life” has another stomping guitar line before we get “Tragic Heroes” another of the album highlights (in a highlight filled album) with thoughtful lyrics about artists with talent and tunes being shafted by record companies and money men.
Penultimate track “Go to Hell” is another bruising rocker with a straightforward message, before the tempo is brought right down for the poignant piano and vocal of “The Boy Who Fooled the World”. The song has sentiments that I’m sure many can relate to in lines like:
“…..listening out for the next big thing, got my fingers on the play and record…”
“There is something about a song that gets in your head, you could hear it just once and its hard to forget”.
This last quote is one that resonates with me for this album as several of the songs do just that.
The album ends there unless you have the expanded CD which offers up another famous Gun cover version. I’ve enjoyed these in the past. From their successful take on Cameo’s “Word Up” to their version of The Smiths “Panic” and recently charity single Hot Chocolate’s “Everyone’s a Winner”.
This time we get, quite literally, a party piece in the shape of Beastie Boys “Fight for Your Right (to Party)”. Having seen this live when they played with Backstreet Babies and Black Star Riders earlier in the year it was obvious how much fun was had by the band, it was just as much fun listening.
The additional three tracks (“20 Storeys”, “Come Undone” and “All I Really Need”) are worth shelling out on the expanded edition for with all continuing in the similar “Gun” vein as the other tracks on the album.
This album deserves to be played LOUD and if there is any justice should be a massive hit for the band.
I am more than sure the bands Christmas gig in the Barrowland Ballroom on 2nd December will be a special night for both band and “Gunners” & “Gunnettes” alike.
Go to Gun’s website to buy exclusive bundles or to find links to other ways of purchasing the album.