EP Review: Gun Shy – The Long Dance

Review from Ben Forrester

On their debut EP ‘First Transmission‘, Gun Shy made quite the impression on the alt-punk world with a swirling mix of emo, punk, post-rock and grunge. Although it was quite an abrasive collage of sounds, the four-piece really pulled it off with a good grasp of dynamics and structure. It was one of those records that made you go ‘what was that?‘ and I think that’s why it resonated so well with the underground rock scene because it was a breath of fresh air.

So here we are 12 months on and Gun Shy return with their next instalment ‘The Long Dance‘. Clocking in at 21 minutes and featuring 7 tracks, just on its length alone, this makes me think that the band are gonna go even further down the rabbit hole here. And to be fair, I would say that was a fair assumption to have made.

Although it’s still as varied and dynamic as its predecessor, Gun Shy have made a more conscious effort to bring a stronger sense of melody and have sharpened up their songwriting skills here. ‘Test You Like Gold‘ reminds me a bit of a Brand New track, with that hazy yet regimented verse groove before going into this fuzzy chorus with an ear worm hook. It’s emo as fuck but it’s deliciously melancholic. The title track also carries a very nostalgic tone, jumping in between grunged out scuzz and beautiful post-emo sparkles. It feels a bit more coherent than previous material and the songs seem like they have more of an identity.

Although the band do indulge in that loud/quiet dynamic pretty much throughout the EP, they do keep it straight on tracks like ‘Whilst You Execute‘, which is a proper angular-punk party banger while ‘Holding Onto Nothing‘ is an atmospheric post-rock inspired moment of solitude. But there is no denying the bands knack of switching up mood within a track to sky scraping effect, the last 40 seconds of ‘In Perfect Silent‘ providing the best WTF moment on here!

The Long Dance is another unapologetically emotional and passionate piece that hits hard with a sincere delivery. Gun Shy are an innovative modern punk band and it’s this totally fearless attitude that they take to making music that makes them an extremely promising prospect in the UK scene right now. Don’t be shy now.

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