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The Popguns Pop FictionMatinee Recordings
Article written by
Kev W - Dec 2, 2014
Pop! Guns! Who needs imaginative metaphors when the band themselves have already given you the most accurate description of their plan of attack by way of their very name? They make "uncomplicated pop music", so why get all wordy and flamboyant when writing about them? Indiepop fans may well have very fond memories of the Brighton group from their first incarnation, and those who were too young or were somehow bypassed in the early '90s might have caught the reformed band playing around the world (New York, Berlin, Paris, London) or at the Indietracks festival recently.
What will those original fans remember, and what will the newcomers have found? Yes, it may be cliche time, but with a name like The Popguns you just know to expect sugar-kissed bullets of melody-filled guitar-pop: the formula certainly isn't new, and it would probably have been a disappointment if it had been. The production is a little more contemporary, but the songs don't come with a date-stamp, these belong to forever. The slightly scuzzy, powerpop-ish 'Lovejunky' was a fine way to return after 18 years away: an infectious shot of earcandy that showed us this isn't a band desperate to relive past glories, this is a band with a hunger to create new ones.
The Popguns can and do allow themselves space to get a little more epic and thoughtful, and this is evident on gorgeous opener 'City Lights', but second track 'If You Ever Change Your Mind' is prime indiepop that's not lacking in the chorus department, and with 'Lovejunky' following on its heels 'Pop Fiction' has already captured your heart. If another single is needed, then the band just need to pick a number between 1 and 10 - this could almost be a singles collection, but the tunesome 'Alfa Romeo' isn't going to leave you wanting, and neither will 'Leaning On The Backline'. There aren't really any weak links here.
If you need a breather then the harmonious twinkle of 'Waiting For The Winter' is a touch less direct, but only for a minute or so until everything kicks in. 'Out Of Sight' eases off the gas slightly, and were it not for those sweet vocals this could be a dark and eerie number, albeit one that switches from stuttering drums and bleak atmospherics to sweeping beauty in the blink of an eye. It's really only the pensive 'Not Your Night Tonight' that you could describe as a slowie. It does offer some variation without going off track, as does the grittier, uptempo 'Something Going On'. When they depart with the winding guitar lines of 'I'll See You Later' there can be little doubt that The Popguns are indeed back with a bang, and most likely having a blast while they're at it.