New Age Sound by Cross Guns – Review
Young garage rock quartet Cross Guns don’t give much away about themselves, so their new EP, New Age Sound will have to do all the talking. Describing themselves as a ‘DIY power pop band from Dublin’s north side’, we go into this totally blind.
Kicking off the EP with a bang is ‘Little Guitar Girl’, undoubtedly the highlight of the band’s offering. The almost lo-fi sound of the instrumentation here is charming, and adds to the teen rock aesthetic. The melody is truly fabulous, and has all the qualities of a singalong track. The influence of bands like The Strokes or perhaps even Kings of Leon is quite evident, but understated enough to be a positive thing. Catchy, jangling riffs compliment John Doyle’s cheery vocals.
‘Heroes and Villains’ is barely a minute long but still packs a nice punch, but could perhaps do with more aggression and volume coming from the guitars. Power pop tends to need some high gain goodness to warrant the ‘power’ aspect, which this track doesn’t quite achieve. Nevertheless, it’s a quaint little bop. ‘Pulling Me Down’ ventures into the ballad side of things just a tad, with more complex chord progressions and less shouty vocals. It’s a nice changeup to the first two tracks to say the least.
‘Tokyo’ wraps up the EP, which is the most different out of the four tracks featured. This time fully going for the hand swaying stadium rock sound, the U2 sounding chorus is catchy and is melodically pleasing. However, a track like this needs a bit more oomph coming from the production sides of things unlike the raw charm of the other tunes. Yet while not being quite as irresistible as the first track, it holds up and closes things nicely.
While rather underproduced and raw sounding, there is definite potential for a powerhouse of a power pop band here. Tracks like ‘Little Guitar Girl’ need to be heard in a live situation to be properly enjoyed, and the overall volume of the songs should be a louder, but that’s all in the future for this young band.