Perhaps best known for their cover of Cameo's 'Word Up!', Scottish rockers GUN released their first album in 1989 and split up almost a decade later. This is the third release since the band reconvened in 2008 and it will be promoted with an appearance at the Camden Rocks Festival at the end of May.
Opened by the anthemic 'Let It Shine', GUN unashamedly bring out classic rock riffs to complement the roller-coaster vocals of Dante Gizzi - think Axl Rose going from shriek to growl. 'Labour Of Life' adds an interesting touch of ska, while 'Beautiful Smile' rumbles along promisingly but ultimately fails to take off. The quality is lifted by the power-chord driven 'One Wrong Turn', while 'Our Time' is a radio-friendly acoustic turn with a great melody. Further showcasing the versatility of the band is 'Hold Your Head Up', which incorporates gospel, while 'Sepaphina' should appease those who prefer the heavier side of guitar music (and it features a cracking solo). It is only the title track of this record which really disappoints - a mid-tempo number built on an idle string section riff; it drops the momentum at the heart of the album. This aside, the remainder is an accomplished record that shows GUN to be more than just a heritage act. If you're not familiar with their back-catalogue then there is enough here to suggest it being worth investigating.
Facebook Page -
'Smalls Change (Meditations Upon Ageing)' arrives in April.
The two awards have made for a great 72nd birthday present for the country music icon.