‘’Gunship is a neon soaked, late night, sonic getaway drive, cinematic vocals and cyberpunk values’’, no fake advertising there…
Back in October 2014, YouTube became the host of a teaser video which starts off with a weird and mysterious CGI skeleton crawling out of an arcade cabinet. ‘’Gunship? What’s that?’’ was I thinking. The quality of the animation left me hoping that the imminent music tease would be as good as the intro. Then Boom, the track which today is known as Shadow Fury starts rolling alongside a compilation of 80’s movie extracts, and the four words looping in my mainframe: ‘’Man I want more’’. Like a yet to be born baby eager to get a sunbath, we had to wait a bit more than 9 months to grab the full cake. But now the wait is over, it’s finally here, Gunship’s self-titled debut album comes with 10 tracks plus 3 remixes and let’s cut to the chase, it’s awesome.
Cyberpunk drama music for everyone
When I think about this album, I can’t help but to be reminded of Le Cassette’s debut album Left to Our Own Devices released back in July 2014. The reason for that isn’t much about compulsive ranking but mainly about the quality and style of the sound. Both releases have a distinct pop-oriented sound which is accessible and thrives just enough away from the action heroes and fast cars you usually ‘’hear about’’ in what I like to call ear-movie projects. So while keeping that 80’s synth inspired feel, Gunship manages to deliver an album tinged with modernity that has the potential to please hungry synth-maniacs and those with more mainstream tastes alike.
A matter of subtlety
In terms of composition, it’s impossible to deny the qualities of those tracks. All the original tunes come greatly built thanks to some top-notch instrumentals which do a great job sharing the spotlight with the vocals. While we’re on the subject, at times the singing may feel a bit tedious, probably due to its heavy reliance on long sustained notes. Still, let’s not forget we’re talking about an artistic choice which thus needs to be appreciated subjectively. In the end, all of the 10 original tracks manage to stand out thanks to a few subtleties dropped here and there, whether it be that furious synth-rave at the end of The Mountain, The Hedgemon’s discrete guitar and its 4 note combo, that badass bass from Shadow Fury or all the hope conveyed by Kitsune’s vocal chorus… And if you ever need another variety of sonorities by the end of the album, 3 remixes are awaiting your ears. Made respectively by Carpenter Brut, Miami Nights 1984 and Makeup & Vanity Set, they serve as a nice way to close the opus with a good dose of freshness.
In the world of Gunship, the words ‘’cheesy’’ or ‘’cheap’’ don’t seem to exist. So there you have it, a great album to keep the night rolling endlessly on nostalgic soundwaves. I have no choice but to highly recommend you grab that set of tunes pronto.