Sound of Guns - What Came from Fire - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Sound of Guns - What Came from Fire

by Rich Morris Rating:4 Release Date:2010-06-28

Like Snow Patrol with a rocket up the arse, Sound of Guns' debut long-player drips with the kind of irony-proof earnestness which pretty much precludes a band from ever being considered cool. And sure enough, despite the patronage of Zane Lowe, What Came from Fire is full of uncool sounds. Sound of Guns' biggest influence appears to be early-to-mid-80s U2, when the band's chest-beating triumphalism was dwarfed only by the size of Bono's feathered mullet.

Needless to say, if you are a fan of epic, power-chord-strewn rock possessed with an unabashed conviction of its own importance (shorthand: if you are a Q reader), What Came from Fire will be a very satisfying listen for you. And, to be fair to Sound of Guns, they do what they do really well. After the brief ambient sound collage which opens the album (the appropriately named 'Intro'), the band are straight into it with the widescreen 'Architects', on which singer Andy Metcalfe wastes no time in unfurling his Bono-with-a-fistful-of-Halls-Soothers voice to its fullest extent. To call it anthemic is, frankly, to do it an injustice. The same goes for following tracks 'Alcatraz', 'Elementary of Youth' and 'Collisions', any one of which could be a massive single.

However, bluster should never be confused with genuine emotion, and that's something Sound of Guns do not offer. This album is quite staggeringly one-note, with only the Christmasy jingle-jangle of '106 (Still the Words)' and closing ballad 'Starts with an End' breaking the stadium rock mould. Also, as one would probably expect from music this unreconstructed, the songs themselves deal exclusively in cliché. "I don't believe in anything at all," wails Metcalfe on 'Collisions' like an adolescent Springsteen before going on to mention old chestnuts such as a lack of communication and writing on the wall. Meanwhile, on 'Lightspeed', which quite unsubtly deals with drug addiction (just like U2 did on 'Running to Standstill', a song which clearly influenced this one - just check those speed/movement metaphors) Metcalfe tells his user friend, "You've got nowhere left to go."

However, it doesn't really pay to inspect these lyrics too closely, especially when, as with early Oasis, Sound of Guns' vaulting ambition is often visible just beneath the surface. Why, for example, does Metcalfe spend the chorus of 'Architects' wailing (he really only has one vocal setting) "We are the architects"? Probably, one surmises, because it will sound great bellowed along to by an audience of thousands. Fair enough. And you have to hope Sound of Guns do manage to scale the same giddy heights Kings of Leon have, and quickly, because music this unflinchingly massive just won't make any sense in a small venue.

Comments (0)

There are no comments posted here yet