Shane Drake (vocals), Spencer Davis (guitar/vocals), Joe Baldasio (guitar) Justin Howlett (bass) and Jaret Maillet (drums) are GUNR. The band recently released GUNR a self-titled four-song EP that melds hard rock and a bit of southern flair. You can even argue that the music is more metal than hard rock as the cliché demon-like growls and intense double bass drum make themselves known throughout the four songs.
The production and recording quality is radio ready. There is clear separation between the instrumentation even though the songs usually contain a barrage of distortion from the guitar and heavy hitting drums.
The band opens up with “Boneslide” which is a heavy rocker that bares resemblance to the ‘90s grunge band Alice In Chains. Once the songs gets going the energy is pretty intense all the way through as different vocal filters and different singers give the song a sense of variation. The lyrics seem to revolve around a bitter breakup. He sings, “Every step I take in the right direction / You're a step ahead and I waste my time / I never thought that I'd loathe you / But you need to go away.”
“On Top” is another well-crafted, hard-hitting song that deals with a similar topic. Ultimately it seems to be about someone who is dealing with a lot of pain and processing it in detrimental ways. He sings about feeding the anger by drinking the night away. Lyrics like “Goddamn this life of sorrow / Wish it all away” and “Another step towards the grave / Fuck it all, I'll drink this night away” point towards someone who might be going down a downward spiral.
The band continues to impress with “Loaded Gun” which lyrically seems to be a little more optimistic than the previous songs. I thought the highlight was “Smile As My Disguise” which is an anger-fueled intense song that touts about the aggravation within his own head. The double bass drum is pretty sick on this song and was a closer that ended things with a bang.
The relatively short EP is cohesive and gives you a very good idea of what a full length would sound like from the band. It plays seamlessly from song to song and if you dig the initial vibe you will enjoy the whole thing.
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