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    History Of Guns

    flashes of light acedia Apophenia

    History Of Guns : Disconnect **
    Pride (In The Name Of Arrogance) / Fifty Seven Days / *Burn / Fact / Disconnect

    This EP occasionally sounds like Nine Inch Nails with a Cockney singer, occasionally like The Damned during their more gothic era, but always sounds like an exciting noise that you want to listen to. The songs themselves may not be the be all and end all, but yeah, this is fun stuff to listen to. 'Burn' sounds particularly aggressive, guitars to the fore - the machines and noise that surround the vocals and music really does sound like a fire. The opening 'Pride' is pounding and exhilarating. The machines and industrial textures occasionally get too much and occasionaly the vocals sound a little odd - this kind of english vocals married to industrial music - but ultimately History Of Guns win through and show themselves to be a band worth keeping an eye out for. Visit their web site at historyofguns.com for further information.

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    Readers Comments

    stagger lee haverhill, suffolk
    just to say if you like this (the 4th ep) look out for little miss suicide or reformation day ep's or guns at dawn if it ever gets released (sorry max)

    top of page History Of Guns : The Mirror Pond ***
    Moonburn / *Compassion Fatigue / Mimozine / Skin Can't Breathe / The Mirror Pond

    I don't usually care to follow the career of a band who send me CDs to review, bribery reviews if you will - but i'll start to make an exception for History Of Guns right here. This, their second EP is better than the first and I like to see new bands improve, for a start. Whilst 'Disconnect' was guitar heavy with machinery mixed in, here the machinery takes center stage with the guitars relegated to the background. It bodes well for a full length album, should one appear, and I for one hope it does. I hope they mix both styles for an album, though. Variety is good for an album, but let's talk about 'The Mirror Pond' whilst it's here and avaliable for you all to buy. See the URL listed in the review above, click on it. Listen to a free download and buy this thing right here. Oh, nice almost leaning on ambient parts introduce 'Moonburn' before the loud noisy industrial part comes in. It's good! 'Compassion Fatigue' makes me laugh. The cockney vocals I mentioned in the previous review? Ah, those are back! You wanted Ian Dury fronting Nine Inch Nails? Or, did you want rap artist The Streets sounding a little more rock and fronting Nine Inch Nails, but a Nine Inch Nails that aren't a pile of steaming lacking entirely in melody CRAP? Ah, History Of Guns will give you that. 'Compassion Fatigue' is damn good, and at one point, a voice pops up saying 'Fucking S**t', which will get them in the Kerrang singles charts, for one! Ever read 'Kerrang' the metal magazine? Swearing is quite important to Kerrang, but i'm drifting off here.

    'Mimozine'' has nice keyboard lines, great melody throughout, 'Skin Can't Breathe' continues to show real progress and development for History Of Guns and again, bodes well for a full album release should they sell enough copies of this to pay for one. Or get signed to a label willing to finance a full length album. Again, visit History of Guns' for the info for purchasing the thing. Ah, before I go. The closing track has a great deep bass line, and I like deep bass lines, so there you go. Gothic elements move through the vocal and surround the vocal and the lead guitar is nice too amongst the electronic sounds. Great stuff, all in all.

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    top of page History Of Guns : Flashes Of Light
    *Flashes Of Light - Part One / *Flashes Of Light - Part Two / Going Hollow / *Pattern Death / Blown / Learning Curve / Flashes Of Light - Part Three / Thunder In The Airwaves (Flashes Of Light - Part Four)

    During the past ten months out of the three years i've been running this web-site, my daily hits average for the site as a whole has nearly doubled. History Of Guns were one of the very first bands to send me a CD through the post. These days, I get a lot of rubbish sent to me by all and sundry, I get to hear a lot of new music and I still buy a lot of new music. CDs cover the walls of my bedroom and organising them is proving to be more and more of a difficult task. At this point, you may be wondering what any of this has to do with History Of Guns. Well, I've stuck with them. I've been waiting for a full length album from Max Rael and Del Alien ( aka History Of Guns ) for quite a while now, and it's nice that it's arrived. It's even nicer that it's better than i'd dared have dreamed from listening to their 'Disconnect' EP several years ago. Of all the new albums i've listened to this year, happily, this is right up there with the very best of them. A big plus is the fact History Of Guns have a sound, and that it's an original sound. They also cover a lot of ground. 'Flashes Of Light' has serious material lyrically, it has a theme running through it ( the title song has been split into four parts ) and covers everything from goth industrial through to pumping dance beats.

    The opening two parts of the title song account for the first twenty one minutes or so of the album, a good third of the album. It really works though, the opening part has dark melodic keyboard lines and quite frankly astonishing vocals and lyrics that within the context of the soft electronic beats and keyboard lines, work very well indeed. It's the finest thing they've ever done. 'Flashes Of Light - Part Two' continues from this. Being two lengthy songs, it's remarkable that you don't for a single second lose concentration. This is very atmospheric music, the combination of keyboard/electronic textures with the distinctive vocals and interesting lyrical material consistantly keeps a listener interested. Both 'Going Hollow' and 'Pattern Death' continue with a high quality for the album. 'Pattern Death' is the one with really pumping dance beats. Marrying that to gothic lyrics/vocals is quite something. I think I mentioned this in an earlier review, but the vocalist really does have a voice that's, well, it's unusual. I'm a big fan of unusual distinctive vocalists, because if you care to think about it, that type of vocalist, the I love or hate it type of voice - usually produces the most interesting results. It certainly attracts a more dedicated fanbase. Generally, it means people care more. I'm starting to care more and more about History Of Guns because they've produced the single most startling album i've heard so far during 2004.

    'Blown' is a piece based on dark piano patterns, 'Learning Curve' initially sounds like it's about to burst into a catchy sunshine pop ballad, but happily for everyone it doesn't. The closing two parts of the title song also close the album, things get a little strange at this stage. They experiment with musical sounds, with more avant-garde moments, with samples of voices and noise, etc, etc. Switching to the final part, very attractive piano patterns, astonishingly deep intoned vocals intoning what exactly? Well, all kind of intriguing things, basically. Buy, listen and enjoy. History Of Guns may not be extensively featured in lavish, glossy music magazines as yet, but on the evidence of this, their debut album, they certainly deserve to be.

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    Readers Comments

    Dawn Lally info@gilbertandlally.co.uk
    I got Flashes of light after reading your review and i could not agree more it took me on a journey,it was deep dark and dirty,i love it,.

    top of page History Of Guns : Apophenia 8
    *Death Of A Nation / *Your Obedient Servants / I Am - You Are / One In Three / Apophenia / Divide And Conquer / *Does Anyone Remember The War? / TV Spotlight / Battle Of The Bands / History Of Guns / After The Breakdown

    'Flashes Of Light' was a brilliant LP and i'd recommend anybody track it down. 'Apophenia' is the follow-up record and i've been rather looking forward to it. Well, let's face it. There is no underground scene anymore, in the old 'indie' sense. Bands like History Of Guns are out there working away, creating decent music and provide a genuine alternative. It's difficult though when you get to know the guys in a band, in whatever small way ( eg, through correspondance relating to promo copies and reviews ) to break the news that I prefer 'Flashes Of Light' to 'Apophenia'. However, that's not to say 'Aphoneia' is without it's merits. More a compliment to 'Flashes Of Light', i'd say. Still, History Of Guns continue to show their invention across this second full-length LP. Interesting percussion abounds, the actual sound incorporates lots of variation. For example, we've the usual History Of Guns industrial sounds, but mixed with a house line. Mixed with dance beats. Mixed with heavy-metal sections. We've entire tracks such as 'Does Anybody Rememember The War', a track full of percussive patterns upon which the vocalist repeats the song title and Basel Fawlty, John Cleese from Fawlty Towers, pops up at a certain point to add his two-pennies worth. It's scary and unsettling fun. A couple of tracks on this album remind me almost of a lo-fi industrial version of The Fall, an intriguing sound to hear that once you get your head round it, actually makes perfect sense.

    My pick of the pops so to speak from 'Aphonenia' is the marvellous 'Death Of A Nation', which I'll spend a short time discussing. Sounding initially like a cross between early 80s Cure and The Sisters Of Mercy, the guitar and beats combine with the vocals to create an hypnotic effect. The vocals are low, mumbled and growled. All the different elements of the track combine perfectly together. It's also got a hell of a tune, so that's good. Listening to 'Aphophenia' as a whole reminds me of how far History Of Guns have come since their early singles and EPs. They've come on in leaps and bounds in the way they put their songs together. They always were an enjoyable and inventive band, but they've now reached a level of higher acheivement they should be proud of. Another good album from History Of Guns? Well, yes, of course it is. Go out and buy a copy for yourself today. Buy 'Flashes Of Light' while you're at it, too. Be warned though kids, History Of Guns are gonna blow your mind...

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    top of page Acedia
    Born, Brutalised, Bought then Buried / It's Easy (To Go Blind) / ...But I'll Be Waiting / Exhaust Fumes / What Have They Done To Us? / Never Forgive You / No Eternal Reward / Empty Eyes / Drag On / Killing Myself Until I Die /

    They're back, healthier than ever? Well, I was most impressed with the packaging - keeping their identity even with better put together artwork, etc. They've recorded this with improved production values, gone for a guitar heavy sound yet also taken elements of their trademark electronics. Good job too, the like of 'Killing Myself Until I Die' mixes both elements so very well. The better production values suits History Of Guns, and if anything, makes them even scarier sounding than before. 'What Have They Done To Us' disturbingly opens with a brief ambient soothing thing before thankfully emerging to be a huge, distorted, magnificent thing - with balls on. Great thumping bass, riffing guitars and lyrics mentioning not being able to breathe. What's this as well, 'Never Forgive You' opens up all punk rock before slowing down just slightly to allow Del Alien the occasion to grumble his vocals and semi-shout at you, always sounding a bit pissed off and angry. ‘Acedia’ by the way can be defined as 'a total absence of spiritual light', which is about right for History Of Guns – well, they're not about to record an Xmas number one, let's put it that way.

    We continue then, with glam rock beats for 'No Eternal Reward', one of the best songs here. Good lyrics match to glam beats and terrifically scary things to create perhaps one of History Of Guns most excellent songs to date. 'Killing Myself Until I Die' mixes in muddy sounding bass riffs with a classic History Of Guns lyric and musical sections bordering on death metal, all filtered through a History Of Guns blender. It closes off a rewarding History Of Guns LP that's possibly their most consistent to date. Personal taste is one thing, but these guys surely get better and better? Well, as George Harrison once sagely advised, Try Some, Buy Some.. 'Acedia' is released through Lineout records.

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    Readers Comments

    stagger lee haverhill, suffolk
    i must admit it is the best guns album to date i'm glad i got to write and work on it reminds me of the old days when goth was good

    top of page Whatever You Do, Don't Turn Up At Twelve 8
    Kicking Down The Doors / Friday Night, After Work / I.C.E. / Who Controls You? / These Are The Walls / Cold Coma / These Songs / Closing Down This Reality / Departure, Journey, Arrival / Anthem 23 (Follow The Fiend) / Incarnates

    History Of Guns have been with me as long as this web-site has existed. I remember very fondly 'Flashes Of Light' and pretty much everything else they have done. Their music has never been entirely serious, even when presented as so - always a bit of rebellion and fun in the mix. So, whilst 'Kicking Down The Doors' is a goth-rumble, 'Friday Night, After Work' is utterly danceable, with you suspect fairly primitively produced beats, yet they are all the better for not being polished into oblivion - it reminds me of something like 'Cheetham Hill' by The Fall, something akin to a punk-disco. 'I.C.E' continues this theme, albeit with a bit more industrial rock grit. 'These Are The Walls' rumbles out of the speakers with wide and deep bass guitar sounds before the lead guitars thrash amidst the little keyboard melodies, a huge sound soon erupts and we're a minute or so in before the vocals arrive. Some intent, some shouting, some genuine anger - the riffs continue and we have one mightily enjoyable piece of music to consider once the three minutes or so have elapsed. The six and a half-minute long 'Cold Coma' is a very serious track, it spirals inwards and outwards, always evoking much black eye line and such-forth. There is a tiny, repeating circular guitar pattern that sounds like early 80s stuff, much distortion and a lyric pleaded and impassioned, "I can't breathe anymore".

    You can by the way goto the History Of Guns web-site and download a whole bunch of this stuff for free, as well as buy from Amazon, etc. The thirteen minute long 'Departure, Journey, Arrival' proves History Of Guns can use technology in all sorts of unexpected ways, unexpected because this largely instrumental three-song suite is utterly bonkers and exactly not the sort of thing you would listen to after coming home after a club night, unless you particularly wanted to be really freaked out and have nightmares for the following few days. Happily, the most History Of Guns type track arrives last of all to cheer you up, utterly the wrong word to use of course, cheer, but there you go. 'Incarnates' is an industrial noise and mumbling and intent and scary - as naturally it should be.

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    top of page this page last updated 23/06/13

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