Album Review: GUN – ‘Favourite Pleasures’

Scottish rock band GUN, most famous for their excellent cover of the  Cameo hit ‘Word Up’, release their follow-up to 2015’s ‘Frantic’ later this month. With the band one to note for their memorably strong live performances, the focus when looking at new releases from such a band has to be where the songs will slot into a live set. As this is what the band appear to value above anything else – it would be wrong of us to assess their latest works as anything else – and on this level, ‘Favourite Pleasures’ is an absolute triumph.

The record is a much stronger, well-rounded overall work than ‘Frantic’ was. The very first track, ‘She Knows’, is a throwback to the old-school rock music that form much of GUN’s best work and fits not only as an album opener, but also as a potential live set opener. For me, it certainly serves as the best GUN song of recent times, let alone of this record alone, and is what many would call a ‘proper’ rock song.

This is not, however, to take away from the rest of the record, and the frenetic pace of the record certainly does not let up. ‘Here’s Where I Am’ brings the best out of Dante Gizzi’s vocals, while album title track ‘Favourite Pleasures’ is sure to be a favourite amongst veteran GUN fans. As the album progresses, more of the same follows – the band sticking to the tried and trusted formula which has led to their loyal following throughout both England and particularly Scotland.

Highlights throughout the rest of the album include the slower, but no less guitar-heavy ‘Black Heart’ and, by way of contrast, the piano-based, lyrically brilliant album closer ‘The Boy Who Fooled The World’.

Put simply, the record is very solid, and comfortably betters ‘Frantic’, simply due to the fact that the album has a number of tracks which will doubtlessly be even better live than they are on record. GUN are not a band who are going to go to number one, or sell 10 million records, but what they are is a throwback to the 1970s rock which many still love, and will always attract a live audience regardless simply because of this. If old-school rock is your thing, then the album will definitely be worth a listen, and taking in a GUN show in the near future is a necessity.

‘Favourite Pleasures’ is released on September 15th