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Kiss the Gun originally formed last year in Salisbury, but revised their lineup in April 2017. And, reading their bio, it's somewhat of an eclectic lineup that whets the appetite for just what these musicians might've created, before I even spin this disc, 'Nightmares', the band's debut album. Georgian vocalist Nadin Zakharian fronts the band, a semi-finalist twice over, on two different TV shows in her home country. Dave South plays bass, a veteran of the NWOBHM scene. Drummer Rob Taylor spent two years playing trombone on cruise ships, but has gone on to graduate from the Trinity College of Music with a Classical Music Performance degree. Lead guitarist Gerry Hearn seems to have done the rounds throughout the years, touring with Uriah Heep and Freddie Starr (!?!!), as well as other lesser known acts. And Graham Exton, on rhythm guitar, has sparser blurb to go by, but has three decades of fretboard experience.

So then, the results of their combined talents... very good, I have to say. Great, in fact. First and foremost, there's astute songwriting on 'Nightmares'. The band describe themselves simply as "rock", and I think that's wise. In a day and age where a plethora of subgenres and subgenres of subgenres plague and dictate people's listening proclivities, I like their "keeping it simple" branding. Metal elements are discernible in some of the tracks, to varying degrees of heaviness, but the foundations are rock in a general sense. Bottom-line, though, this is all about fantastic songwriting, which incorporates some seriously infectious melodies and hooks, and executed with passion and a refined sense of panache.

It all flows very nicely indeed. Performances and production are top notch. Zakharian has a powerful, wide ranging voice, in terms of pitch and tonality. Her vocal lines are imaginative and captivating. And the instrumentations are equally as wonderful. In particular, Hearn's playing is a joy to listen to. His lead sound is succulent... one of those "melt in your mouth" tones. And with a few glimpses of technical virtuosity, but never unnecessarily flashy or for-the-sake-of. The band even do stripped-down ever so well - 'Drowning' is minimalist in constitution but massive in emotional delights. The guitar and vocals on this track (with a hint of bass) are beautiful.

Topped off with a great production and mix, 'Nightmares' is a very strong debut release. A total surprise this one. A new band name to me, Kiss the Gun have burst onto the scene in emphatic fashion. Their foray into full-length territory is a definite winner.
3MS Music
Review by Mark Holmes
27th October 2017
1) Into the Fire
2) This is the Time
3) Nightmares
4) Writing on the Wall
5) Stand Up
6) Run Run Run
7) Tainted Heart
8) Drowning
9) Higher and Higher
10) From the Night
"Kiss the Gun have burst onto the scene in emphatic fashion. Their foray into full-length territory is a definite winner."