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Militarie Gun - Life Under The Gun (Album Review)

Tuesday, 04 July 2023 Written by Will Marshall

Photo: Daniel Topete

Originally known for delivering the scabrous powerviolence assault of Regional Justice Center, hardcore veteran Ian Shelton re-emerged during the pandemic with Militarie Gun, eschewing immediate fury for short, sharp melodic bursts inspired by ‘90s alt-rock. In just 27 minutes their debut LP ‘Life Under the Gun’ turns in a strong case for album of the summer.

Do It Faster is a bouncing, feel-good bop that draws from the same danceable bounce as crossover kings Turnstile, kicking off the album with a huge wallop of energy and a killer  chorus that implores: “I don’t care what you do / Just do it faster.” 

Very High centres itself around a desire to escape the mundanity and embarrassment of daily life through a languid, earworm hook, while My Friends Are Having a Hard Time ratchets up the brooding melancholy in its laconic, drawled vocals. 

Shelton’s voice is gritty, somewhere between hardcore shout and melodic croon, and while it’s not got many shades, ‘Life Under the Gun’ is short enough and fun enough that this never becomes a problem. Most of its songs are in and out fast, with Think Less and the skate punk anthem Seizure of Assets both clocking in under two minutes apiece. 

Militarie Gun aren’t reinventing the wheel musically, but every track here is memorable and hooky. Those alt-rock influences help to create a nostalgic feeling, calling back to summers past, languishing in parks with friends with nothing but skateboards and a stereo to pass the time. From the easy swagger of Do It Faster through to the closing title track, the prevailing atmosphere is of escapism and fun. The band sound like they’re having a blast, and you will too.


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