KISS THE GUN – We See You (2020)
KISS THE GUN formed in 2016 in Salisbury, UK and the following year released their debut album. In 2018 they replaced their original singer with female vocalist Abigail Austin, and now the 5-piece are releasing their brand new opus “We See You” on their own imprint KTG Records.
The band define themselves as ‘elaborated melodic hard rock’ – and I would say some AOR touches too – a very interesting set of songs where the band add a breath of fresh air to the genre.
Kiss The Gun’s 2017 debut, “Nightmares” readily labelled them as ‘one to watch’. Much of the credit went to charismatic Georgian vocalist, Nadin Zakharian. She’s gone now, and has been replaced by Brit, Abigail Austin. The rest of the band remains intact, providing a solid sounding board for Austin’s fresh faced individuality.
No question, she accepts the challenge of the new head on. And while the band sprinkle rollicking melodic rock songs ‘Flight Of The Phoenix’, ‘Emergency’ and ‘Almost Undone’, with the toughened up AOR shapes that define the genre, Austin leans back into the melodies, letting the wordy, weighty lyrics do their work, making us suspect she’s actually holding something in reserve for when it’s really needed.
“We See You” doesn’t lack for ambition. In fact on almost every track here, they’ve created something new and different.
The faux lite prog rock touches of ‘Dreamer’ sweeps in on neo-romantic strings, setting the scene for a chugging riff and a thumping heartbeat of a hook. And there’s the anti-war power ballad ‘What We’ve Become’, using thrillingly abrasive guitar wails to build a psychological, anti-war soundscape with an 80s vibe all over.
But maybe the more simply textured ‘Break The Chains’ does it best, using traditional Arabic melodic motifs, then cutting them with rock’n’roll guitars and western rhythms.
Then there’s the pacey ‘n’ looking forward positive rocker that is ‘Out On My Own’; the beautifully sung ‘Emergency’ and the closing acrobatic drum filled blaster that is ‘Almost Undone’.
If the debut promised that one day Kiss The Gun would create a very distinctive piece of work, (and you would have thought the loss of their vocalist, who seemed an integral part of their future as much as their present, would have been a major setback, but wasn’t), then “We See You” takes a huge stride toward that aspiration.
Yes, Kiss The Gun may still be a band ‘to watch’, but to watch how much time will pass until they get signed by Frontiers Music or alike – musically they are already a mature piece of fresh melodic hard rock, a renovation the genre needs pronto.
01 – Flight Of The Phoenix
02 – Dreamer
03 – What We’ve Become
04 – Enter The Gate
05 – Out On My Own
06 – Emergency
07 – Beyond The Ship
08 – Breaking The Chains
09 – Almost Undone
Abigail Austin – Vocals
Gerry Hearn – Guitars
Graham Exton – Guitars
Dave South – Bass
Rob Taylor – Drums