Following on from their acclaimed 2015 album, Frantic, one of Scotland's finest rock bands return with their best album to date. Ever since their reformation in 2012 the band have grown in popularity and really had a strong resurgence.
Unlike the laid back elements of Frantic, Favourite Pleasures is a full on melodic rock album that fires out as much power and force as a bullet from a firearm. In fact, fans of warm hearted melodic rock with a speckling of pop will go weak at the knees over this album; it will probably be one of your favourite pleasures even after several listens. For this album it would appear that Gun have followed Def Leppard's lead on Hysteria and produced an album where all the songs could be hits: There's really not a duff track on the album, every single one could have airplay in its own right.
She Knows is the pull of the trigger that gets this album started. With a torrent of drums and distorted guitars it's catchy and layered with pop rock greatness. It's a well envisioned rock that's destined to be a classic track for the band. Vocalist Dante Gizzi sounds more rocky on these tracks than before too. Here's Where I Am continues to pump out the big melodies and proves that the band are able to lift the roof on large arenas and blow out the walls with the small ones with their new stomping rock sound.
There's elements of a retro vibe along the way with nods to Fleetwood Mac in the guitar work, but also there's a moxie of more recent bands like Artic Monkeys, Oasis and Scissor Sisters too, especially in the title track; it's not totally redolent of other bands but there's definitely a feel that Gun are tapping into that heavy production and guitar sound, certainly more than before. In fact the heavier percussive sound defines the album, driving it along with barely a pause for breath- it's like a shoot out at the O.K Corral.
Take Me Down and Silent Lovers continue with this sonic overload whilst Without You In My Life has a sadness to it but is propelled by toe tapping defiance. Tragic Heroes changes the tone of the album slightly in anticipation of the final track, The Boy Who Fooled The World. Both are slower with a change in riffs and not quite so full on, but no less memorable. In fact the final track is to be applauded for its upbeat, punk overtones and inspiring tale of teenage angst morphing into confidence.
The album certainly shows no signs of Guns slowing down. After 30 years of playing music, they are not going away anytime soon. Like a Smith and Wesson, they are smokin' hot and on fire: Gun are sounding better than ever.
Groupie Rating: 4/5