Flashguns have been in the periphery for so long that it seems incredibly hard to believe that 'Passions of a Different Kind' is their debut album - I first posted a terribly written review of them back in 2007. The disjointed, manic, frenetic, ridiculously good explosion of an opener, 'Sounds of the Forest', however, seems to cement the idea that with the release of their album, Flashguns won't be keeping in the shadows for all that much longer.
'Passions...' in general is an album that twists and turns between raucous noise ('Come and See the Lights') and more soothing, smooth incarnations (the lovely, 'The Beginning', which has heart-achingly affecting moments like "but now I find something better than I ever had"), constantly subverting where you think it's going yet somehow retaining an intense feeling and a sense of cohesiveness. Some of the songs bring to mind the early Smiths comparisons the band were subject to (notably title track 'Passions of a Different Kind'), with that jangling '80s melancholy and those soulful, wonderful vocals, but there is a confidence and vivacity to the music that goes beyond such restrictive likenesses.
I've spoken before about the decline in guitar bands lately - a lot of the most interesting music right now is experimenting and innovating in completely new directions. 'Passions of a Different Kind', then, serves as a reminder that there's definitely a reason that guitar music has been so prolific in the last century; it's an affecting, bluesy album, and while there are admittedly weaker points on the album where songs seem to drag a little longer than is strictly necessary, overall it's a great debut which flourishes very pleasantly with every listen.
Flashguns - No Point Hanging Around (In Golden Tears Remix) by Humming Records
'Passions of a Different Kind' is out on Humming Records from Monday 17th October, and you can pre-order/buy it here.