KISS THE GUN
I remember Kiss the Gun’s 2017 debut full-lengther well. At the time, I declared they “have burst onto the scene in emphatic fashion. Their foray into full-length territory is a definite winner.” Great songwriting; varying degrees of heaviness, with some metal elements creeping into their self-proclaimed, sub-genre eschewing style of just “rock”; fantastic performances; and a very solid production/mix/master.
So, three years on, and what has changed? They’re now a self-released band, so they seem to have parted company with their label, 3MS Music. Georgian vocalist Nadin Zakharian is now gone, and they’re fronted in 2020 by Abigail Austin. Otherwise, the rest of the lineup remains intact, with their ever-intriguing musical credentials spanning Uriah Heep; a degree in Classical Music Performance; cruise ships and Freddie Starr! Musically? I can happily report that they’ve successfully delivered more of the same… but with some reservations.
More great performances can be heard throughout, including newcomer, Austin. Anthemic, astutely written tunes are plentiful, and hooks become hookier on each subsequent listen. However, some of the tracks sound a little more derivative and, dare I say, a tad cheesy, on this sophomore outing. Not overtly so, but perhaps a little bit of “difficult second album syndrome” creeping into the songwriting pot with a compositional tried-and-tested crutch.
Also, I hate to say it, but the production on this new one is, from memory, substandard when compared to their debut. It’s lacking something. The keys are perhaps the worst offender. I’m not one for over-processed sounds, but the keyboards, particularly in isolation, too often sound overly dry and anaemic. Ironic when you consider keys are surely the easiest instrument to attain a good, solid sound in any recording scenario. Guitars sound great, on the other hand, but the overall mix could be better. Vocals, in particular, stand out from the instrumentations, rather than blending with the overall sound dynamic. Press blurb boasts they “recorded, mixed and mastered” the album themselves in a mere nine days. It shows. Nine days recording, and another nine spent on mixing and mastering might’ve rendered far better results. It does sound rather like a rush job.
Overall, Kiss the Gun’s second album has some very likeable, catchy tunes, which I’m sure will sound great when they’re able to perform them live at some point in the future but, for now, the production on ‘We See You’ really doesn’t do them the full justice they deserve.
WE SEE YOU
Review by Mark Holmes
4th September 2020
1) Flight of the Phoenix
3) What We've Become
4) Enter the Gate
5) Out on My Own
7) Beyond the Ship
8) Breaking the Chains
9) Almost Done
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:
"...astutely written tunes are plentiful, and hooks become hookier on each subsequent listen."