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Guns on the Roof - New Frustration

  by Russell Ferguson

published: 10 / 11 / 2008



Guns on the Roof - New Frustration
Label: Glory Glory
Format: CD

intro

Well-performed, but limited second album from Clash-influenced Leeds punks, Guns on the Roof


Guns on the Roof are a four piece band from Leeds that make music in the punk vein. The name of the band is taken from a song off the 'Give’em Enough Rope' by the Clash and the whole sound of the band is very similar to that album. It’s good to see that there are no hidden agendas or gimmicks here. It’s also good to see punk rock hasn’t given in to the corporate just yet, that some bands are still trying to kick against the system. 'New Frustration', which the group have self-released on their own Glory Glory records, is the second album from Guns on the Roof and it has taken them three years as a result to make. In many ways a do-it-yourself ethos suits bands like these very well as they do not need to compromise their sound. Guns on the Roof are one of those never-ending touring bands, so where they found time to record this album is anyone's guess. I have , however, a lot of time for hard working bands. It shows faith, commitment and belief in what they do. These guys have supported some of the bigger names in punk, including to name but a few Rancid, Dead Kennedys, Stiff Little Fingers and the UK Subs. So far so good, but what is the album like ? In short it is surprisingly good given its background of no label, little support for the band in getting their records aired over the radio and their relative inexperience with recording. The album sounds as you would expect from a newer generation of punk band. It shouts at you in places and it has an all boys together thing going on. For me the first song, 'Last Orders', is the best song as it has a different tempo at times and it tries to be different from the other songs on the album. 'Last Night' and title track, 'Frustration', are also worth listening to as singer Liam Brett pushes his vocals to their limits and it shows as it lifts these two songs above mediocrity. 'Our Sincerel' is the only song that is acoustic and as such sits awkwardly with the other songs, but nonetheless it makes a welcome respite from the similar tempo of the other songs on the album. While there is much to recommend this album it also has it limits. For me there isn’t enough variations in tempo and it comes across as a little one dimensional, but then again that is what I thought of the first Clash album. As a result of its lack of variation it comes across as short of ideas when in truth this album is rich in them. I would like to hear some songs slowed down and a more varied style of guitar playing. While there isn’t anything wrong with Danny’s Sharp's guitar playing he is fond of the three chord structure and playing fast rather than with any real style. This lack of variation stifles the whole sound. One can rarely hear or feel the bass guitar which must be frustrating for bassist Marc Miles. Joe Sefton with his drum work tries to make a difference to the whole feel and pace of the album, but while he can drum well with variation in his drumming he keeps the same beats per minutes and this adds to the feeling that the song are very similar. Guns On The Roof have stuck to the formula of punk rock a little too well and they are in danger of sounding like so many other post punk bands-in short noisy and shouting with three chords to their name. By sticking to certain guide lines they have sacrificed any individuality they have as a band. It would be a shame if they just churned out another album like this in due course, I do hope these guys learn a few tricks to distinguish their songs from one another. As a second offering these guys must be very pleased with this record, but maybe on the next record they could let their imagination run away with them.



Track Listing:-
1 Last Orders
2 Dying
3 Last Night
4 Frustration
5 Punk Sweat And Tears
6 So Tired
7 Road Of Our Lives
8 Wake Up
9 Remedial
10 Freedom
11 Yours Sincerely
12 On The Brink
13 4 Brothers
14 Shattered Feeling



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