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Album Review: Flashguns – Passions of a Different Kind

 
By on Tuesday, 25th October 2011 at 12:00 pm
 

Debut albums are always difficult. On the one hand you want to showcase your talent and the countless hours of material you’ve written over the past few years, but there’s also the desire and necessity of producing a record that’s popular. This is no easy task, especially if the music you’re fond of writing isn’t currently plastered all over the Top 40 and your scene sees no future. Luckily, UK indie pop isn’t exactly a niche sound and fans up and down the country are looking for the ‘next big thing’.

Flashguns could indeed be this ‘big thing’, but at what cost? Their debut record ‘Passions Of A Different Kind’ has taken a number of years to come to fruition, but for some the wait has been worth it. The upbeat indie pop is exactly as you’d expect from three guys who have been making a name for themselves during the scene’s explosion and with Foals-producer Luke Smith behind the desk, the poppier hits are assured.

Whilst Flashguns are fully capable of writing pop hits, that’s not where they shine. It’s the slower songs on this 10-track LP that lift it out of the ten-a-penny indie market and actually give the album some oomph and depth. ‘The Beginning’ is a slow, atmospheric number in the vein of Everything Everything‘s dreamier moments that doesn’t ooze pretension, but is full of the passion and soul you expect from a young band trying to make a name for themselves.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=823KTy8W0GI[/youtube]

The absolute highlight of the LP, though, is ‘Noah’. Flashguns sound much more comfortable in the realm of soundscaping rather than pop hit writing, and the big instrumentals are reminiscent of Brontide in their size and impact and the lyrics are just as infectious as any pop track – but with more meaning.

The (for lack of a better word) generic indie pop tunes aren’t necessarily bad, but there is a striking difference in the quality and drive behind the London trio. Opener ‘Sounds of the Forest’ is the usual fairly catchy, dancey-beat track that could gain airplay on primetime radio for a week or so but there’s nothing original of note. ‘Candles Out’ is another track that feels like it’s been written for airplay rather than substance. There are definitely a few hooks that lure you in, but for an album that took this long to release, the killer/filler ratio should be stronger.

‘Passions of a Different Kind’ is exactly as the name suggests. The passion of the band appears to be different to that of the fans they’re trying to win over. Flashguns sound at home in the heart-felt, atmospheric, slow song element, yet come across as a group of guys going through the motions for the remaining run-of-the-mill indie-pop tracks. Hopefully the next album will be an exploration into slower territory, with the radio-friendly indie kept to a minimum.

5/10

Flashguns’ debut album ‘Passions of a Different Kind’ is available now from Humming Records.

 

Video of the Moment #426: Flashguns

 
By on Wednesday, 9th March 2011 at 6:00 pm
 

Below is the video for Flashguns‘s ‘Passions of a Different Kind’, to be released as a single on the 28th of March on Friends Vs. Records.

This is the kind of video my brother would like. It has dogs!

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=823KTy8W0GI[/youtube]

 

Funeral Party / January and February 2011 UK/Irish Tour

 
By on Sunday, 23rd January 2011 at 5:00 pm
 

Los Angeles’s Funeral Party will be touring the UK (plus dates in Dublin and Belfast) starting Tuesday through the middle of February. Support will be from London/Brighton band Flashguns, who we’ve been championing for a while here on TGTF.

Monday 24th January 2011 – London Bush Hall (New to Q session)
Tuesday 25th January 2011 – Bristol Fleece
Wednesday 26th January 2011 – Oxford O2 Academy 2
Thursday 27th January 2011 – Manchester Academy 3
Friday 28th January 2011 – Glasgow King Tut’s
Saturday 29th January 2011 – Aberdeen Tunnels
Monday 31st January 2011 – Belfast Stiff Kitten
Tuesday 1st February 2011 – Dublin O2 Academy 2
Thursday 3rd February 2011 – Newcastle Cluny
Friday 4th February 2011 – Leeds Cockpit
Saturday 5th February 2011 – Nottingham Bodega
Sunday 6th February 2011 – Norwich Arts Centre
Tuesday 8th February 2011 – Birmingham O2 Academy 3
Thursday 10th February 2011 – London Cargo
Saturday 12th February 2011 – Brighton Audio

 

Live Review: Flashguns at London Old Blue Last – 2nd December 2010

 
By on Friday, 10th December 2010 at 4:00 pm
 

Well, it’s been very snowy here in London which means it’s been very cold, which inevitably means that the whole of the UK’s transport system effectively and efficiently grinds to a halt. It happens every year and will probably always happen every year! Nonetheless, I had tickets to the Flashguns single launch at the Old Blue Last and I was going.

Having reviewed their latest single, ‘Come and See the Lights’, I was looking forward to hearing how they performed live. I arrived at the venue and the band had just gone on stage, the room was packed out with what seemed like mainly friends of the band, or maybe fans too, considering the radio support these guys have had in the past. It’s a small stage in here and a somewhat curious venue for a single launch, but we settled in all the same.

I was hoping to hear a really energetic three piece, embellished with the epic vocals and ambiance I had heard on the record, but unfortunately that didn’t really happen. The band had some technical difficulties on the night and it’s a shame as it seemed to be affecting them and they couldn’t get into the gig. Saying that everyone else in the room seemed to be enjoying it, but the sound and performance just wasn’t doing it for me.

The third or fourth song in the set was the single, ‘Come See the Lights’, which was delivered well, but lacked the nuances and production of the record that ultimately turn it into something special. Don’t get me wrong, the band were tight and obviously made the best of a bad situation. There just wasn’t enough dynamic on stage to really hold my attention, even for a set this short; the band only played five or six songs, so hardly had time to leave much of an impression.

Once Flashguns have played some more shows at some bigger venues, I could definitely get behind them as they have some great songs and are great musicians. For now I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt, but the jury’s still out on this one.

 

Single Review: Flashguns – Come and See the Lights

 
By on Monday, 29th November 2010 at 12:00 pm
 

Flashguns have had a busy 2010 recording their debut album ‘Passions Of A Different Kind’. Fresh from a 20-date UK tour, their first single ‘Come and See the Lights’ is released today (Monday 29th November) through Friends vs. Records.

The song starts with a thundering drum and guitar combo. I really like this drum sound: it’s big and brash and tastefully overcompressed. “I know because I’ve been there” is the first vocal line delivered with intriguing understatement, a gentle entry to what has so far been a hard-hitting opening. The contrast works well and I’m finding myself getting hooked in, wondering what is to come next.

The chorus is an epic, almost post-rock affair: not the catchiest, and I feel that could slightly let this tune down. I like the odd instrumental sections and bar arrangements going into and out of the choruses, they add a nice dynamic to the song. The production style is big and epic but nothing feels too rammed down your throat. The electronic elements of the track, mainly synths and keys, ride along behind the rhythm section creating an inoffensive ambiance, filling the ‘3-piece void’ that can be so damning with these sorts of records.

Aspects of the arrangement do puzzle me on the first and second listen, but this track turns out to be a grower. By the third or fourth listen, things seem to be making more sense. This song delivers on many levels but I’m not sure if it is the song to catapult Flashguns into the market, but who am I to judge? It could be great synced alongside TV programme or advert.

The three-piece have had some great support from NME and Radio 1 in the past, so good luck to them with the new album. It’s nice to hear a British trio doing something a bit different; this band aren’t just jingle jangle indie guitars, there is something deeper in there than that, and I shall be keeping my beady eye on them, you should too methinks. I’m looking forward to seeing them live at their single launch at the Old Blue Last on 2nd December, so expect a live review soon after.

‘Come and See the Lights’ is released today, 29 November, on Friends vs. Records.

 

Bands to Watch #112: Flashguns

 
By on Tuesday, 19th May 2009 at 4:00 pm
 

Flashguns (side)We’ve mentioned this band before here at There Goes The Fear – but we’ve not really got to speaking about them in depth – so today, that’s just what we’d like to do. Flashguns are a young, up and coming indie band, from part London, part Brighton. Barely out of college, this youthful band still manage to knock out awesome indie-pop led numbers despite their young age.

Yes, although they may boast too cool for school haircuts – Flashguns are not your average skinny jeaned indie band (although they’re still partial to the odd pair of drainpipes). Frontman, Sam Johnston’s voice has a real rich, soulful quality to it, adding a whole new dimension to their poppy guitar riffs. Music-wise the band have personally described their sound as a “contemplative and moody”, and they count Pink Floyd, Sigur Ros and, er, Usain Bolt as just three of their influences.

They’ve already supported Ida Maria and have upcoming gigs in June with another TGTF-favourite, Lissy Trullie. Flashguns will also be playing a selection of festivals this summer including Latitude and Underage. Live, they are said to bound with energy, so be sure to catch them if you can. In the meantime, check out Flashguns awesome performance on BBC Introducing’s stage at Reading last year, below, and two free MP3s.

MP3: Flashguns – Timehouse Blue
MP3: Flashguns – Ro Shambo

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=310lTO4GcD4[/youtube]

Head over to Flashgun’s MySpace page now to learn more.

 
 
 

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