Starting over with a new band can have its pitfalls. Even more so, leaving a band on the brink of bigger things is a big risk, yet for Josh Bannister he took that risk when he left Milk Teeth last January. Now 18 months on, his new band, Gun Shy have delivered their second EP in the form of ‘The Long Dance’. While his former bandmates seem to be heading in a grunge-pop direction, Bannister and company delve into a variety of styles and textures over the seven tracks on offer.
For the most part, ‘The Long Dance’ is bleak, taking you on a journey of impassioned punk and reflective shoegaze. Songs such as ‘Test You Like Gold’ and ‘In Perfect Silence’ are brooding and underpinned by intense intimacy gradually becoming unhinged.
‘Whilst You Execute’ keeps things ticking along; loose, bubbling guitars and frantic drum work. Whereas the title track is one of the EP’s liveliest offerings as Bannister’s screams battle against a wall of soaring guitars with conviction, before a sea of feedback seeps into ‘Holding Onto Nothing’. It’s here where Bannister’s reflective words take centre stage, delivered in a spoken word manner before the core line of ‘why are you running around, making faces at everyone?’ is sung with raw emotion.
Concluding track, ‘Waiting For’ plays off washed out, Cure-esque guitars before launching into a fuzz-laden wall of distortion, allowing the bands instrumentation to be the main focus.
Despite the often cold demeanour, ‘The Long Dance’ is a cohesive EP that sees Gun Shy unrestricted by genre labels, allowing them to drift from one style to the next with ease. Naturally, it is a more focused set of songs compared to ‘First Transmission’, with definite evidence of organic growth on show.That said, the slabs of intensity and the stylistic ebb and flow means ‘The Long Dance’ requires several listens to be fully understood.
‘The Long Dance’ EP by Gun Shy is out now on Wrong Way Round Records.
Words by Sêan Reid (@SeanReid86)