Militarie Gun
Life Under the Gun


3.8
excellent

Review

by Erwann S. STAFF
June 27th, 2023 | 47 replies


Release Date: 06/23/2023 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Hardcore bros playing alt-rock (no this ain't Turnstile!!!)

Life Under the Gun showcases the momentum the hardcore has seen in the past couple of years. Turnstile are now known (and liked!) by my friends who usually only jam French rap, Knocked Loose played at Coachella, and MSPAINT are steadily gaining (well-deserved) traction. LA band Military Gun lies in that direct lineage: they are signed on south-of-mainstream label Loma Vista (St. Vincent, Denzel Curry), while frontman Ian Shelton appeared on banger "Delete It" from the aforementioned MSPAINT and is also the boi behind the powerviolence one-mand band Regional Justice Center.

Despite these origins, Militarie Gun mostly plays a power pop-influenced alternative rock with a dude that prefers to shout rather than sing (maybe he can't sing at all? We won't be slanderous and assume the sympathetic lad can indeed sing). With this concoction in mind, Militarie Gun are exquisitely evident about their influences - the vocal delivery on "Never ***ed Up Once" sounds straight-up like Cap'n Jazz's "Oh Messy Life", the 90s pop punk comparison shines hard on some of those riffs ("Very High"), and the closer features a very R.E.M.-like jangle.

These forays into other genres typically explain why the recent hardcore scene's popularity popped out: its main entities worked on refining rough-around-the-edge songwriting and fusing different influences within hardcore frameworks. Whether that comes in the form of drem punk, punishing synth punk with no guitar, or hardcore-influenced 90s alt-rock, all these bands work together in establishing a scene that is not solely confined to the (very cool but very smelly) underground purviews. Hardcore is not only fast riffs and breakdowns and spin kicks in yo head anymore. If that's the only thing you look for in hardcore, there are still bands that play by that recipe (jam the new Incendiary), but it's been a long time (…the 90s???) since the scene produced that many bands that can pretend to enjoy broader acclaim. Life Under the Gun take that whole approach to the moon with immediately-catchy songs that still proudly carry their punk edge - opener "Do It Faster" would have been one hell of a '97 single with its raspy vocals, slacker lyrics, and start-and-stop riff. Even more so, the few tracks that solely focus on delivering your typical hardcore riffs fail to bring anything to the table ("Think Less"), mainly because they do not even try to propose anything different.

If there's one more jab to throw at the record's neck, it is its relatively weak second half: twenty-seven minutes is quite short, and the last couple of songs still feel undercooked compared to the slab of punk bangers offered by the first half. Despite this, the songs that bang do because they carry powerful punk riffs and relatable, Linkin Park-worship lyrics to yell ("Turn out the light, I think I've lost my mind". Is Life Under the Gun the record hardcore bros will swoon over? More than likely not, as its tendency to only root itself in hardcore without fully diving into the genre's brutality will provoke scornful reactions from the most gatekeepers of us nerds. Do Militarie Gun care? They willn't after gaining new fans aplenty during this European Summer Festival Season.




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user ratings (59)
3.3
great


Comments:Add a Comment 
dedex
Staff Reviewer
June 27th 2023


12555 Comments

Album Rating: 3.8 | Sound Off

this bangs!!! might overrate it but idc I like this a lot

nicktheman1
June 27th 2023


107 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Fun record. Miss some of the more hardcore-influenced songs from the first 3 EPs but it's just as catchy.

Pajolero
June 27th 2023


1395 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

The band seems to have dropped any pretense at hardcore with aggression and intensity shown on the EPs swapped out for power-pop hooks and terrible singing vocals (I love Ian but dude can't sing for shit). While the first half is alright, I don't think I can remember a single track from the second one after half a dozen listens. Kinda disappointed tbh.

dedex
Staff Reviewer
June 27th 2023


12555 Comments

Album Rating: 3.8 | Sound Off

yeehaw nick!



and yeah Pajo I *mostly* agree, but I like these tunes a lot and I can't stop jamming them

RadioSuicide
June 27th 2023


2463 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

“My Friends…” is a perfect song. Getting a lot of Suicidal Tendencies vibes from the more hxc moments. Will check the rest of their shit ASAP.



Regional Justice Center beats ass too if anyone hasn’t checked it yet.

MillionDead
June 27th 2023


5077 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

That song Absence from the last RJC LP is MASSIVE.

SheWatchedTheSky
June 27th 2023


31 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Never fucked up once is a huge contender for song of the year

Calc
June 27th 2023


17248 Comments


I feel like I should like this more.

nickisnotarapper
June 27th 2023


28 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Same feeling as Calc, I like so many similar bands in the genre but this really doesn't do it for me. The guitars are super on point, but the vocals/lyrics leave a lot to be desired IMO.



That said I bet this would go so hard live. Hoping it grows on me with more listens.

RadioSuicide
June 28th 2023


2463 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

KKK Tattoo is my favorite RJC song, but Absence is a close second

PurpleDino
June 28th 2023


3817 Comments


One of my fave sets at Outbreak this year

Don’t think this tops All Roads Lead to the Gun I or II but still fun

xfactor675
June 28th 2023


2 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

yeah, this is better than turnstile

KillingMoon
June 28th 2023


102 Comments


what a fun album I'm really digging this

KillingMoon
June 28th 2023


102 Comments


although I can't help but feel like the beginning of 'Think Less' sounds like (Don't Fear) The Reaper from BOC...😅😅

dedex
Staff Reviewer
June 28th 2023


12555 Comments

Album Rating: 3.8 | Sound Off

hope y'all that vibe, vibe hard!!



oh wow indeed there is some resemblance with Don't Fear the Reaper



heya PurpleDino how was Outbreak? heard it was cool except for some minor organisational hiccups

Pikazilla
June 28th 2023


28555 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

yeah, this is better than turnstile [2]

dedex
Staff Reviewer
June 28th 2023


12555 Comments

Album Rating: 3.8 | Sound Off

so this is a pika 2.5 ?

Pikazilla
June 28th 2023


28555 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

think it's gonna land on a 3.5

MillionDead
June 28th 2023


5077 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Same. Sweet riffs at the end of My Friends are Having a Hard Time though

dedex
Staff Reviewer
June 28th 2023


12555 Comments

Album Rating: 3.8 | Sound Off

woo!



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