Them Guns, a quartet formed in Santa Cruz, CA in 2013 have released their latest offering, From The Shadows. Them Guns consists of founders Navarone Garibaldi on vocals and guitar and Kyle Hamood on keyboards along with Chris Hudson on drums and Chuck Holiday on bass and vocals. The four of them have been busy playing shows on the West Coast as well as dates in New York and London.
Released on February 22nd, From The Shadows is a 12 track collection of 80’s synth-pop and 90’s alternative rock, mixed together and baked into a crust of emo lyrics. The opening track, Everybody Bleeds, has a demented keyboard backdrop to a cool mid-range guitar riff. The choruses are creepy and melodic, culminating in a breakdown chorus near the end affirming his need for the female subject. The second track is Fireworks, the track draws you in with a clapping, arena anthem riff and details a relationship gone wrong and wanting to escape “the fireworks in my mind.”
The fifth track about a woman’s ability to seduce a man with a diviner’s skill is driven by a piercing keyboard and a bass line which the verses mimic. Horoscope proclaims, “You got it, she wants it, a horoscope you desire.” Hand Me Your Heart is as close to a love song as there is in this batch of tunes, its thumping back-beat and keyboard riff, which could easily be a guitar in a metal song, contrast the lyrics about what is possible when one surrenders oneself to another. A synthesized wind howling and piano open the back half of the record on The Right Way To Do Wrong. This search for a possibility of belonging together when it seems not meant to be is accentuated by a longing chorus of “How long ’til we find where we belong. Searching so hard for the right way to do wrong.” A bass dirge and the howling wind usher the song out, leaving one believing they never found the way. Lost Boys, is a keyboard led piece with a galloping pace and a melodic chorus that sounds like it would be very exciting to hear live.
Overall, this album would be a very welcome addition to the collection of someone who really has their roots in the music of the late 80’s through the 90’s. While the whole album sounds vaguely familiar, like maybe you’ve heard it before, there is some good playing on the record and some catchy moments. One such moment is the bell choir backdrop to the intro on Close Your Eyes. Another notable moment is the guitar riff with snare drum punctuation in Devil’s Eye. Lyrically, the album definitely resides on the dark side of the street, without being cynical, which can be an all to predictable combination. That lack of cynicism makes what could be just another brooding, millennial complaint-fest worth a listen.
1. Everybody Bleeds
3. Close Your Eyes
4. Devils Eye
6. Hand Me Your Heart
7. The Right Way to do Wrong
8. Lost Boys
10. Heard it All Before
12. The Rise