Glaswegian rockers GUN return with their seventh studio album Favourite Pleasures and it is an album of raw emotion that straddles danger yet oozes melody at the same time. If you thought GUN had seen better days, think again… The swagger is back spiked with a fresh spunkiness that will excite fans both old and new.
Recorded at the band’s own Morse Code studios, rocky opener ‘She Knows’ slices the airwaves at a frantic pace from the opening seconds with a punchy rhythm and infectious guitar licks. It is something of a statement of intent announcing GUN are back and ready to take on the world once again. The tasty opener hooks the listener before ‘Here’s Where I Am’ follows. There is something of a T-Rex/’70s glam rock feel to it with the foot stomper bustling along before fully igniting as the guitar riff erupts.
Title track and lead song ‘Favourite Pleasures’ is infectious and hooks the listener without choice with the band bringing a funk that will make any listener want to shake their tail-feather. Inspired by a “friend” who was into S&M this is GUN at their finest and as frontman Dante Gizzi bellows “cut me I feel better, tie my hands together” there is a sense of danger that threatens to boil over as his brother Jools and new guitarist Tommy Gentry up the ante and crank up the guitars.
There is plenty of variation and ‘Silent Lovers’ has a catchy chorus that will surely be sung back at the stage passionately by the bands loyal fan-base. Alongside the title track ‘Black Heart’ is the stand-out song on the album. Vocally it is great to hear Dante mix it up and alongside the incredible guitar the track has a dark edge to it that reminds of Soundgarden. My one criticism is the guitar fades-out too early at the end of the song and I hope for a proper unleashing if this one makes it on to the set list of the forthcoming tour.
‘Tragic Heroes’ is a radio friendly number with a big chorus before GUN unleash ‘Go To Hell’. Vocally intriguing, Dante’s vocal is almost unrecognisable as he venomously spits “I would love, love, love for you to go to hell”. The delivery has sleazy vibe that I love with the track echoing the Strip bands of the 80s.
Perhaps the biggest surprise comes at the end of the album with closer ‘The Boy Who Fooled The World’. Backed by the piano and vocally exposed, Dante once again highlights his versatility with a convincing vocal as he reflects on his childhood…. “I remember my teacher finally asking me, what I want to do when I leave school, I want to play guitar just like my heroes.”Somehow this track works and within a couple of listens I am joining Dante on lead vocals. The perfect album closer and sure to be a moment for mobile phone lights swinging back and forth at upcoming GUN gigs as fans join in the sing-along. GUN are back and firing out their best stuff in a long time!