Keyboards, synth, ambient programming, all layered over electronic beats make the long awaited release from ‘Gunship,’ a calendar marker for July 24th, 2015. Gunship are 2 members from Fightstar, Dan Haigh & Alex Westaway with the addition of Alex Gingell. Their style is best summed up from the gentlemen themselves as a neon soaked, late night, sonic getaway drive, dripping with luscious analog synthesizers, cinematic vocals and cyberpunk values, exploding from the front cover of a dusty plastic VHS case which has lain forgotten since 1984. That pretty much sums it up.
They have previous soundtrack work under their belts, but this is the first actual release under the name. The imagery from the first single is a perfect fit for the introduction of this group. “Fly For Your Life” was the first video released and can be viewed here. This is the best song on the album, in my opinion, and an excellent representation of the album as of whole. The choruses are rich with hooks and flavorful electronics, captivating the listener for multiple playbacks. Two others you can hear right now are the opening track “The Mountain” which features rich, climbing techno beats over Al’s airy voice accompanied by female harmonies and “Pink Mist” which was released on Promenade Records, John Carpenter inspired 80s synth album, aptly titled 'Carpenter.’
"Shadow Fury" is a very easy listen, with poppy, glistening 80's overtones and synth right from the retro-era. The breakdown could be straight of a video game from a few decades ago. “Tech Noir” features a familiar voice (Charlie Simpson) and spoken word from John Carpenter. This soundtrack-inspired tune gives us a Knight-Rider feel where you just want to crank this up on your old car stereo, put one arm up on the steering wheel, rev the engine and drive through the city night. “Kitsune” stands out to me as the more ballad type with big keys, reminiscent of a mixture between M83 and The Cure. Al’s breathy, lazy style vocals really shine on this one letting the synth carry this climactic song.
Martin Grech handles an amazing vocal performance on the eerie track “Black Sun On The Horizon.” The performance was truly captured on this one. Another great track "The Hegemon" stands out on it's dramatic approach and heavenly vocal breakdown. “Maximum Black” ends the album nicely with a very falsetto Westaway carrying his vocal melodies through the transcending midi elements before we see a few remix tracks to officially finish off the album.
For the debut album, this is a solid release. Al's vocals really shine through this kind of music. It can be pumped loud or even background soundtrack music. I think it can only get better with time and more experimentation. These guys have already established themselves are great songwriters and producers from previous projects. It's great to see them all involved at some level and doing something outside of what their known for. I am curious what’s to come. The sky is the limit for these guys.