Young Guns - Bones

Beneath the brash production there are a strong canon of tracks that show real potential.

Label: Play It Again Sam

Rating: 7

‘Bones’ is the second album from Bucks quintet Young Guns following their self released debut which saw them grab sought after support slots with the likes of Lostprophets. This influence is keenly felt throughout but overwhelmingly so in the stunning opener ‘I Was Born, I Have Lived, I Will Surely Die’ which could easily be mistaken for there more famous counterparts with its earnest vocals and stratospheric chorus. It’s a call to arms and brutal statement of intent whose fire is quelled by ‘Dearly Departed’, apparently written during a period of writers block and after a couple of bottles of vodka which may explain the sub Panic At The Disco / Fall Out Boy vibe complete with accompanying vocal impersonation. Aside from this the only other real disappointment is ‘Learn My Lesson’, anaemic with imagination and festering lyrical cliches.

The title track and current single is one of those moments where their ambitions and delivery come together. Where songwriting tends to border on the predictable side of poetic, here they play a few more interesting lyrical cards with almost spiritual undertones (‘I’ve fashioned my own cross, been crushed by its weight’) propelled by a shout fuelled chorus and furious guitar solo to drum solo segue before coming round the block for more. It’s feral, ear shattering goodness at its best. Elsewhere ‘Brother In Arms’ is a singalong anthem with shades of the hotly tipped Mona, a band who came and went faster than a snowman in a heatwave but blessed with the combined bottled spirit of ‘Born To Run’ era Springsteen and the Followill brothers.

There are times where it feels like they’re playing it safe with occasional moments of invention reserved for the short numbers. The instrumental ‘Interlude’ is an understated pulse of bubbling electronica whilst ‘Hymn For All I’ve Lost’ neatly condenses that feeling of looking back on the past into a little over a minute without ever feeling cheap or throwaway. They also have a carefully hidden gentler side witnessed by the delicate ‘Broadfields’ which slows down the pace and strips away the fake tanned production to create an emotive piece that gives the lyrics space to breathe with a shot of falsetto thrown in for good measure.

It may feel at times like subtlety has taken a back seat but beneath the brash production there are a strong canon of tracks that show real potential. A solid improvement from ‘All Our Kings Are Dead’ but they will need to do more if they want to break into the big time.