Gunship
Gunship


4.5
superb

Review

by MercuryToHell CONTRIBUTOR (42 Reviews)
July 26th, 2015 | 133 replies


Release Date: 07/24/2015 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A novelty with substance? Well, if you insist...

Gunship is the synthwave/pop side-project of Alex Westaway (the non-Charlie Simpson vocalist/guitarist) and Dan Haigh (bassist) of UK rock/post-hardcore band Fightstar, formed while on hiatus since 2009’s ‘Be Human’.
Here endeth any relevance and/or mention.

From the neon-oozing, Mega Drive-parodying artwork, to the VHS effects on the videos, to the fantastically tacky effects on their website, it is clear that Gunship were built for 1989 before even the opening bars of the album ring out.

But herein lies a question – given the obvious worship to this era, is there any depth hiding behind this unashamed lack of subtlety"
Or is ‘Gunship’ (like a seemingly endless legion of modern comics) merely content in acknowledging past pop culture without any further expansion"

Fortunately for the listener, very much the former.

First of all, the production on this album is absolutely pristine – every fuzzy, reverb-soaked layer of analogue synthesizer sounds perfectly placed in the mix, balanced by melodramatic drum patterns that always stay true to their influence rather than taking a more standard EDM trajectory.
Westaway’s vocals have never been the strongest, but he finds a very good range here, allowing a more gentle delivery to come through that greatly suits him.

Lead single ‘Fly For Your Life’ features guest vocals from Stella La Page, sultrily playing off Westaway’s almost Bastille-esque choruses to create a startlingly atmospheric contrast to the vicious dogfight scenes of the video (seriously, check that *** out).
While it’s hard to pick out particular highlights as such, tracks such as ‘Tech Noir’, ‘Pink Mist’ and ‘Kitsune’ display an almost alarming solemn maturity in songwriting against such a silly concept.

The 80’s synthwave movement undeniably shapes this record, but Gunship bring real talent and nous to avoid letting the songs grow in their own right rather than becoming caricatures.

If there is a weak point here, it might be ‘Revel In Your Time’ – a very good track in it’s own right, and arguably the most outwardly fun track on offer here, but set against the rest of the record, it doesn’t quite flow, and Westaway’s vocals are a little strained at points, but it’s a minor subtlety when the rest of the album holds such quality.

Gunship are to be applauded here for creating such a well-rounded novelty on the one hand, and a fantastic pop record on the other.

Now, where did I put my copy of StarFox"



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user ratings (196)
Chart.
3.9
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
MercuryToHell
Contributing Reviewer
July 26th 2015


1319 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Latest entry, and my word, what a find this album is!

Constructive criticism, as always, appreciated.

FlyheadMetal
July 26th 2015


2422 Comments


Right away i can see that the paragraphs are really really small. not a bad thing, but 1 sentence paragraphs need work

overall it isn't a bad review, nice work

MercuryToHell
Contributing Reviewer
July 26th 2015


1319 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

The 6-year Fightstar hiatus almost seems justified - wasn't a big fan of Charlie's solo material in honesty.

thumbcrusher
July 26th 2015


3756 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I got this and it's seriously good yeah. As you say I think the style really suits Alex's vocals, he sounds great on here.

MercuryToHell
Contributing Reviewer
July 26th 2015


1319 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

And suddenly the caps are gone...

Omeggia
July 26th 2015


198 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

can't stop listening to this

Grech's guest appearance is probably the highlight for me, not that Al isn't also amazing

henryChinaski
July 27th 2015


4095 Comments


This sounds really interesting, will check out. Also that artwork is sweet. Nice review too!

Digging: The Story So Far - Proper Dose

RadicalEd
July 27th 2015


9391 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Album is pure fire.

Digging: Tim Hecker - Konoyo

SitarHero
July 27th 2015


7001 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Holy hell! What a left field gem!

RadicalEd
July 27th 2015


9391 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah no kidding. "Kitsune" is amazing.

NorwichScene
July 27th 2015


2668 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Awesome album. Charlie's solo albums were a bit boring. I love Revel in your time

Digging: Gunship - Dark All Day

MercuryToHell
Contributing Reviewer
July 27th 2015


1319 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I was really uncertain originally about the Grech guest spot, but my word has it grown on me.

Absolute gem!

MercuryToHell
Contributing Reviewer
July 27th 2015


1319 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I just can't give enough props to this record for being plain-faced serious about the whole genre and doing it damn-near perfectly...

SitarHero
July 27th 2015


7001 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Fly for your Life is really doing it for me.

MercuryToHell
Contributing Reviewer
July 27th 2015


1319 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

'Tech Noir' is current fave - Charlie's guest vocals are simply lovely.

Pajolero
July 27th 2015


1017 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Why isn't this huge.

Digging: Candy (VA) - Good To Feel

MercuryToHell
Contributing Reviewer
July 27th 2015


1319 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I know right, this has the potential to be massive - I don't know anything like the label it's signed to but I heard literally nothing of it until the 'Fly For Your Life' video surfaced from a friend a few days ago.

parksungjoon
July 27th 2015


8320 Comments


Is this streaming anywhere? There's a full album upload on youtube but it sounds timestretched as fuck.

RadicalEd
July 27th 2015


9391 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

it is timestreched, but you can just speed up the Video. (you can do that when you're using the html5 player https://www.youtube.com/html5?gl=DE&hl=de) A few tracks are on soundcloud.





parksungjoon
July 27th 2015


8320 Comments


Yeah this is pretty good although I haven't found it as gripping as some other releases in this genre. I'll have to give it a few more spins though.



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