Flashguns - Passions Of A Different Kind

Flashguns’ astronomic ambitions are clear to see.


The simplest way to categorize successful new bands is into two straight-forward groups; those who are forced upon the unsuspecting music fan until they’re wrestled into submission (take The Vaccines, for example) and those who fail to get the hype they deserve yet slowly, but surely build up a devoted fan base who grow organically (Flashguns’ chums Bombay Bicycle Club). Flashguns are currently in limbo between the two, having pulled out of last years’ ‘Road To V’ competition for fear of being known as “that band who won that competition” and decamped to the studio for a longer-than-average amount of time to record a debut - Flashguns were far from the forefront of our new musical minds. Until now.

For those who aren’t familiar with Flashguns’ formula, opener ‘Sounds Of The Forest’ is a suitable taster. With a sound surprisingly punchy for a three piece, and a chorus which is ever-so reminiscent of Radiohead’s ‘There There’, it’s hard not to be impressed by the confidence exhumed on this track. Following, is ‘Passions Of A Different Kind’, after which the album is named. In the chorus you find the same epic, arena-ready-rock as on the opener, but the verses are a slightly different affair, featuring jangly guitars and enigmatic drums; a brilliant beat-pop number, the quality of which has rarely been seen since The Smiths demise. ‘The Beginning’ gives a refreshing change of tone, starting atmospheric, with subtle guitars and synths lurking beneath its surface, it slowly builds up into a throat busting, anthemic climax. Flashguns’ astronomic ambitions are clear to see, and with songs like this it’s hard for anyone to stand in their way.

Other standout tracks include ‘Heat & Fire’, which recalls the subtleties of Flashguns’ earlier work before moulding itself into yet another of the arena-rock moments this album excels at producing; and ‘Noah’, with skittery drums and Strokes-esque guitar sections brought to the fore. Album closer ‘Racing Race’ will be familiar to those who listened to Flashguns’ ‘Matching Hearts, Similar Parts’ EP, as it also brought proceedings to a close there. A bluesy behemoth of a full stop, ‘Racing Race’ more than matches the scale of the previous songs found here.

Most of the tracks on this record follow the model of ‘start a bit quieter, end a lot louder / with distortion’, but that is in no shape or form a bad thing. It usually takes a new band a few bashes before producing song this big. We all like to save the best ‘til last, unless you’re one of the weirdos who are left with the green and yellow skittles / starburst / other fruity treat at the end of the packet (you know who you are). Think of this album as a bag full of red and purple skittles / starburst / fruity treats. If that doesn’t get your mouth watering with anticipation then I don’t know what will.

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