Album Review: Flashguns – Passions of a Different Kind

By on Tuesday, 25th October 2011 at 12:00 pm
 

Debut albums are always difficult. On the one hand you want to showcase your talent and the countless hours of material you’ve written over the past few years, but there’s also the desire and necessity of producing a record that’s popular. This is no easy task, especially if the music you’re fond of writing isn’t currently plastered all over the Top 40 and your scene sees no future. Luckily, UK indie pop isn’t exactly a niche sound and fans up and down the country are looking for the ‘next big thing’.

Flashguns could indeed be this ‘big thing’, but at what cost? Their debut record ‘Passions Of A Different Kind’ has taken a number of years to come to fruition, but for some the wait has been worth it. The upbeat indie pop is exactly as you’d expect from three guys who have been making a name for themselves during the scene’s explosion and with Foals-producer Luke Smith behind the desk, the poppier hits are assured.

Whilst Flashguns are fully capable of writing pop hits, that’s not where they shine. It’s the slower songs on this 10-track LP that lift it out of the ten-a-penny indie market and actually give the album some oomph and depth. ‘The Beginning’ is a slow, atmospheric number in the vein of Everything Everything‘s dreamier moments that doesn’t ooze pretension, but is full of the passion and soul you expect from a young band trying to make a name for themselves.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=823KTy8W0GI[/youtube]

The absolute highlight of the LP, though, is ‘Noah’. Flashguns sound much more comfortable in the realm of soundscaping rather than pop hit writing, and the big instrumentals are reminiscent of Brontide in their size and impact and the lyrics are just as infectious as any pop track – but with more meaning.

The (for lack of a better word) generic indie pop tunes aren’t necessarily bad, but there is a striking difference in the quality and drive behind the London trio. Opener ‘Sounds of the Forest’ is the usual fairly catchy, dancey-beat track that could gain airplay on primetime radio for a week or so but there’s nothing original of note. ‘Candles Out’ is another track that feels like it’s been written for airplay rather than substance. There are definitely a few hooks that lure you in, but for an album that took this long to release, the killer/filler ratio should be stronger.

‘Passions of a Different Kind’ is exactly as the name suggests. The passion of the band appears to be different to that of the fans they’re trying to win over. Flashguns sound at home in the heart-felt, atmospheric, slow song element, yet come across as a group of guys going through the motions for the remaining run-of-the-mill indie-pop tracks. Hopefully the next album will be an exploration into slower territory, with the radio-friendly indie kept to a minimum.

5/10

Flashguns’ debut album ‘Passions of a Different Kind’ is available now from Humming Records.

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