Phuque is a sprint through the narrow laned streets of Dublin, soaked in attitude and power, providing the soundtrack to some kind of high-stake chase through the expanding concrete jungle. Its high intensity riffs and its gritty, urban vocals give the track an identity that’s uniquely Strangers With Guns
I have to say, I just love everything about Strangers With Gun’s sound. The raw energy and honesty that they conjure up in their music is sprawled right across their second full length album All Pleasure Is Just Relief. Their music always brings me back to simpler times, as a young fella hanging out around the streets with the lads, kicking around a football, listening to old school rock, punk and metal without a care in the world. Like the music back then, this album is heavy and manic at times, with savage beats and riffs bulging out of its over-inflated pigskin as it’s kicked and thumped off the urban, concrete walls, while those punk styled vocals and lyrics scrawl and spray-paint their tirades all over the graffiti leaden barriers. This album has all the attitude and energy of three decades of music, all brought together and given that unique Strangers With Guns treatment.
Phuque is a sprint through the narrow laned streets of Dublin, soaked in attitude and power, providing the soundtrack to some kind of high-stake chase through the expanding concrete jungle. Its high intensity riffs and its gritty, urban vocals give the track an identity that’s uniquely Strangers With Guns, taken straight from their hometown and the everyday life that most metropolitan cities hold within them. It’s a high-octane track that would summarise the band in one fowl swoop.
The next track, Dial It Back is another beast with its heavy rhythm guitars and rolling drums. Verbal chants dominate the track with their infectious Suicidal Tendencies shouts and thrash metal nuances. That infectious groove continues right into I Am Henry Rollins Now and as the track clearly states, it pays homage to the man himself with its angry and bitter diatribe. A steely bass breaks the track in half later on, all the time smothered in stoner solos that spiral from floor to ceiling like an impromptu exhibition piece.
So How Are You Feeling’s jamming groove and Not Your Day's nod to Gangsters Paradise show the bands willingness to sample, experiment and invent something fresh, that’s found hidden way outside the box. I think It’s that very thing that gives Strangers With Guns that endearing and magnetic pull. Tracks like Positive Vibes give you exactly that. It's music to replenish and charge the batteries to. Even the interlude That’s Kinda Nice is, well…. kinda nice! They say it how they see it!
The final two tracks on All Pleasure Is Just Relief come at you right out of leftfield. Perception has a Blur vibe no less, with its Coffee and TV melody raining through the choruses, and then you have Why and its dreamy psychedelic smoothness muddied up with some droning spoken words and dense metal breakdowns that again, to these ears, ring of Suicidal Tendencies, which has to be a good thing! The track and album closes on a simple strummed guitar that is the complete opposite of how it all started out on Phuque. That just shows you how diverse and imaginative Stranger With Guns have become. They’re growing and developing into exactly what they want to be, without following rules and labels. It’s refreshing, it’s infectious, and it’s Irish!