I must admit I had heard little about Flashguns prior to the release of Passion of a different kind, their first and long awaited full length album which was released this week on Berlin label Humming Records. Despite the album being released only this year, the band first formed in 2007 in London and has been touring heavily ever since, supporting Bombay Bicycle Club and Jamie T among others.
When I first listened to the record, which you can stream below, I was surprised by many things. First of all, I was amazed that Flashguns are only a three-piece. Many songs of the album sound very complex and obviously more than your average three instruments were used. I wonder if they have additional musicians on tour.
It also struck me that their single Passion of a different kind is by far the weakest track on the album. Not because it is a bad song, which it isn’t, but it clearly lacks the depth and quality of the remainder of the record. While Passion is a danceable tune that will get them a lot of airplay and will probably be a hit, the rest of the album has so much more to offer.
That’s the third thing that struck me. I’m not exactly sure how old the individual band members are but they must be in their early twenties still and their songs sound very mature. They draw from a variety of styles, such as rock, folk and even psychedelic, and know how to put them to good use.
The album kicks of with Sounds of the Forest, a guitar driven tune that has the anthemic appeal of an Oasis song. No point hanging around is no less a rock song. Like I said, Passion of a different kind is the popiest song on the record and it’s perfectly placed after the heavy openers. The Beginning is a slow solemn song that brings the singer’s voice to the fore and reminds me a little of The Maccabees. It’s perfectly placed in what is almost the middle of the record. Candles Out and Good Breading are again more up-beat and wake you up from the thoughtfulness of the The Beginning. Heat & Fire is a midtempo tune with lots of distorted guitars towards the end. Come and see the Lights is another fast danceable song. Noah is another midtempo song with lyrics fraught with meaning. Racing Race is the epic ending of this fantastic record.
Clearly, Flashguns are a far cry from all those generic indie-pop bands with their pumped up kicks and synths that invaded our discos and radios. This album is one that you’ll listen to from start to finish just to press repeat and listen to it again and again.