Article by KevW
This new EP from Glasgow's GUMS! doesn't totally plough the same furrow as some of their past releases, but it's not far off. Their EP 'Antipathy' from 2013 (they've released more since then) saw them producing the kind of ragged guitar-pop that their home city became famous for, and that is found in places, perhaps the short 'Before The First Train' is closest to that sound, carrying plenty of melody and a little jangle, but things are much more rough around the edges elsewhere. Take the heavier, punkier burst of distortion that is 'What's Left' where they career through the song at lightning speed with a load of vitality. Singing in their native accents has been something they've always done, and there are no attempts at doing otherwise as many bands do.
They open with a track that could have been made at any point in the past 35 years or so in 'Christina Gallagher,' with scuzzy guitar and an unpolished sound, but some tinkling piano and nice backing vocals give them a poppy edge. Nora Noonan takes the lead vocal on 'February' and it sounds like a classic indiepop track yet again. GUMS! aren't trying to carve out their own niche, but they know what they want to sound like and get it right time and again: melody, fuzz, energy, nothing too fancy in the production department. It's been a winning formula for years and remains so on 'How Nights Out End'. 'Rottenrow' breaks the trend a little with its military beat and slower pace, but it's still well within the genre and adds some variation. You notice that although this EP fits into a certain musical category, it has plenty of diversity within it, and no two tracks too similar. They end on a high with the gritty but tuneful 'The Facts Of My Life', a song that encapsulates what GUMS! are about and what they're best at. Long may they continue.
Stream or buy the EP
The Sound Of Confusion on Twitter and Facebook