Life Lessons



by AtlusP4G USER (9 Reviews)
July 23rd, 2014 | 7 replies

Release Date: 07/08/2014 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Handguns ditch the angst.

Let’s be honest, Handguns debut album “Angst” was okay, but that’s about it. Taylor Eby certainly has a unique voice but if we’re being honest so does Ronnie Radke, needless to say unique doesn’t always mean good, and on “Angst” Eby’s voice became quite grating in a short amount of time. It certainly didn’t help that the band stayed the course of every other Pure Noise band not named The Story So Far. Two years on Handguns are still playing the same game, it’s just that they’re a lot better at it this time around.

The first thing you’ll notice on “Life Lessons” is the vastly improved vocals; no longer trying to reach some ridiculously high pitch, Eby instead sings in a mid-range tone only travelling into his previous register when absolutely necessary. It works on multiple levels; songs no longer become chores to listen to and a superior understanding of dynamics means that vocally the album is significantly more varied than its predecessor. So Taylor gets a thumbs up, having learned to control himself songs flow quite effectively, the emotion in the lyrics actually translates into the vocals this time around which adds a level of sincerity previously lacking in Handguns work.

Handguns have never been bad at playing or writing pop-punk, the tracks on “Life Lessons” don’t tend to drag; short punchy tracks are the bands strength and they know it. You won’t find anything that breaks the typical pop-punk mould, but credit must be given to Handguns impeccable sense of timing, they know what to play and exactly when to play it. Again don’t come in expecting interesting takes on song structure or influence from styles outside the immediate pop-punk circle, Handguns certainly aren’t Gatsby’s American Dream. Oddly enough a lack of experimentation turns out to be a blessing as there’s no track here as cringe inducing as “Early Retirement”, that fact alone is worth a few bonus points.

At the end of the day “Life Lessons” is good, it's not great, but was anyone expecting Handguns to revolutionise music" When it comes down to it “Life Lessons” is a fun album; it doesn’t try to be anything other than a fun album, it’s a solid improvement on “Angst”, it’s catchy and while it’s not going to change how anyone feels about the genre, it'll give the kids something to hold them over until Parker Cannon breaks up with someone again.

Recent reviews by this author
The Wonder Years No Closer to HeavenStories (AUS) The Youth to Become
Citizen Everybody Is Going to HeavenKnuckle Puck Copacetic
Favorite Weapon Sixty SaragossaTransit Joyride
user ratings (52)

Comments:Add a Comment 
Staff Reviewer
July 23rd 2014


Album Rating: 3.5

Short and sweet review so dece. Pretty much what I expected this album to sound like. I'll probably check it out.

July 23rd 2014


Album Rating: 3.0

Thanks man. I didn't expect it to be so short but really there's not a whole lot to say.

Staff Reviewer
July 23rd 2014


Album Rating: 3.5

Makes sense for this band haha

July 23rd 2014


Album Rating: 3.5

I thought Angst was good, but this is definitely better.

July 23rd 2014


Kinda boring album. After some seriously great pop-punk releases from this and last year, this sounds dull.

Digging: Citizen - As You Please

July 23rd 2014


its decent

Digging: Michael Hurley - Armchair Boogie

December 4th 2014


Album Rating: 4.0

I was gonna check this out but then you went and mentioned Gatsby's American Dream, so I just decided to listen to them

You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile


Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Site Copyright 2005-2017 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy