November 25, 2015

Handguns – ‘Disenchanted’


I’ll admit, I came into this record not knowing a lot about Handguns. I always caught a glimpse here or there, but nothing substantial enough to hook me. As an avid lover of Pure Noise Records, I decided to give these boys a shot.

Whoa. You’ll see this word a lot in this review and hear it a lot in the album. This record packs a punch. The best way I can describe Disenchanted is that it’s Neck Deep on steroids. That is absolutely a compliment too. “Self Portrait” opens with the audio from a very climatic scene in the Oscar nominated “Little Miss Sunshine” and has us rallying behind vocalist Taylor Eby’s inspiring chants and the lush lead guitars. The chorus exists to make you an active participant with Eby’s furious shouting and memorable sing-a-long vocals. “My Lowest Point” teases us with a slower intro, but bursts wide-open with uplifting leads and just enough “whoas” to keep us hooked. “Low Spirits” bass intro is a pure homage to Rufio’s “Still;”¬† inducing a healthy dose of early 2000’s pop-punk fury. The title track, “Disenchanted,” jokingly gives a cringe worthy opener of failed notes and produces enough “whoas” to make us wish the track started with those instead. “Conjuring My Youth” gives us an introspective look at nostalgia and one of the few tracks that prefers harmonies over shouted vocals (a welcome change).

Disenchanted is filled with fiery passion and energy. Putting the record on repeat will result in you jumping around and burning more calories than a mile long jog (don’t quote me on that). That’s not to say the record is not without its faults, it certainly has some. The vocals are a bit raw and production is a bit uneven in certain tracks, but these minor gripes are overshadowed by the sheer thrills the album provides. I personally prefer a record that is great and flawed. This has been a fantastic year for pop-punk and Disenchanted¬†is the perfect addition to the arsenal of the pop-punk emergence.

Rating: 9/10

Written by: Patrick Marion

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