Album review: GUN – R3loaded

GUN - R3loaded

Silver Lining Music [Release date 29.11.19]

Scottish rock band Gun (not to be confused with the 60s band of the same name), formed in the mid 80s and had a successful run for 10 years (including the hit ‘Don’t Say It’s Over’ and the cover of Cameo’s ‘Word Up’).

A couple of reunions and line-up changes later, the band are still going and producing some very fine tracks. The band’s early line-ups also featured vocalist Toby Jepson, of Little Angels and Waywood Sons fame. I saw Gun support Uriah Heep a year ago and was very impressed, the band wend down well with the audience. A change of vocalist no matter, the band relived many a glory.

Part compilation, disc 1 features 10 singles, recorded between 1989 and 2019. Kicking off with ‘Don’t Say It’s Over (1994)’, this reminds me of just how good the band were. OK Gun were always a bit trendy without being commercial or FM oriented, but in the face of grunge and the post grunge alternative rock and nu-metal, they were a breath of fresh air. There’s many a crunching riff and decent guitar solo. The guitar work is clean and blistering in places, and shows exactly why the band were popular back in the day. Melodic vocals, hard yet tuneful guitar, what’s not to like?

‘Better Days’ and ‘Break The Silence’ follow suit. The latter is from 2012 and features a bit more keyboard – still a lovely flow.

Ten fantastic tracks, including two recorded this year – and they fit right in.

Disc 2 features 10 covers, all bar the hit ‘Word Up’ (which everyone should know) and 2015’s ‘Everybody Knows’ were recorded this year with the line-up of Danta Gizzi, guitarists Giuliano Gizzi and Tommy Gentry, drummer Paul McManus and bassist Andy Carr.

First up is ‘Fight For Your Rights To Party’, an odd choice but great guitar work. Perhaps strangely, what does work is Hot Chocolate’s ‘Everyone’s A Winner’. Classic rock with a touch of funk. Tracks by Blondie and Stevie Wonder work well too. Some good flashback.

The music here is wonderful, and can’t be faulted. Enjoyable beginning to end. My only issue is where it sits; with only 10 tracks on each disc, is it an archive release, a new album or covers album? Fantastic as both music and package are, it kinda falls short on each count.

My hope is that it’s a stop-gap and there’s a full album to come. ***1/2

Review by Joe Geesin

David Randall plays a selection of new and classic rock in his weekly show first broadcast 14 June 2020 including reference to the Feature series “2020 Vision”.

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Power Plays w/c 6 July (Mon-Fri)

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