Angels And Enemies album out on March 5th
On first listen to Angels and Enemies there isn’t really a stand out track, which is not usually the case when listening to an album for the first time. There is more often than not at least one track that will grab you, meriting a second listen. Unfortunately in the case of Sound of Guns newest offering it was largely under whelming from a band that has had a lot of support from some big names in mainstream media.
Being discovered through BBC introducing there is understandably a lot of hype surrounding Sound of Guns, and it seems that the this album doesn’t quite live up to that hype. Opening track ‘Sometimes’ starts of quite promising with melodic piano leading into a fuzzy, driven bass line not to dissimilar to The Horrors ‘Who Can Say’. As soon as the vocals kick in though it is almost like a carbon copy of a track from The Enemy, who even at their peak in 2007 were hardly a cutting edge, revolutionary band.
The similarities pop up on more than one occasion during this album with the sing-a-long group vocals and predictable breakdowns leading into a crescendo of guitar noise, which is all too similar throughout the album. Andrew Metcalfe’s vocals shine through more so on the more understated tracks ‘Guide’ and in particular ‘The Oceans The Seas The Rivers’. This track’s laid back vocal teamed up with melodic guitar works well, leading into the choruses’ crashing symbols to much greater effective, bearing more than a passing resemblance to that of The Subways.
‘The Whites Of Your Eyes’ starts off in similar fashion with a slow build up and again a more understated vocal used very well. Unfortunately this song for some reason ends with a gospel singing backing vocalist, which really doesn’t fit on this album. It just seems a bit pretentious, trying far too hard to build an anthemic ending. Instead just hugely out of place and not working to any great effect at all.
Penultimate track ‘The Leaving’ offers more of the same however there is a rare guitar solo, which doesn’t do much to excite unfortunately. The solo starts off rather slow and plods along not ever reaching the heights to make you stand up and take note in the way a guitar solo should. Instead being very obvious and boring, and in no way redeems this album in the slightest.
Going back to the first point I made there isn’t one stand out song, instead the whole album just seems more like one long track. With the majority of tracks seemingly merging into one, due to the lack of variation in sound and song structure. Another factor in making this the case for this album is the production. I am in no doubt that this a very well produced album, maybe too well produced. I say this as it sounds a bit too polished, thus making it lack a bit of guts and character. Personally a more raw sound may have benefited ‘Angels and Enemies’ as it lacks depth, character and originality.