Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Bring Back The Guns sounds call to arms on debut Dry Futures. Houston quartet’s vast arsenal hints at Hot Snakes, Pixies, The Shins, Fugazi and more.

Bring Back The Guns is a messy experiment in taking pop and punk tropes to the classical museum hoping to get thrown out. There's a mathematical precision that belies the boiling underneath, a surface of timing and beats, wordplay, performance, persona that performs the same function as a paper plate during an eclipse. Bring Back The Guns twists its primal screams into exquisite sculpture and invites you to knock over the ropes on your way to touch the art. Bring Back The Guns is anger and love and other short words with long definitions: pop, math-rock, post- Pavement, anti-cool. Its sound somehow simultaneously references elements of such disparate bands as Hot Snakes, The Shins, The Pixies and Fugazi on the young quartet's debut album Dry Futures.

Previously, Matt Brownlie, Blake Powell, Thomas Clemmons and Erik Bogle (ex-Octopus Project) were the award-winning Groceries, and in five years they released two records: the 1999 EP Knuckleheads & Icons and a 2001 split EP with DrillboxIgnition. Powell took off in late 2002 and now flies airplanes through the sky. The rest of the band toured twice with The Toadies, once with Lozenge (Sickroom Records) and did the West Coast with The Octopus Project (Peek-a-Boo Records). In 2004, Ryan Hull joined on bass, and the band became known as Bring Back The Guns. Soon, they were freaking everybody out in their hometown of Houston, TX. The music got uglier, the beats got faster, and the anger got redder. All the while, the praise got louder -- winning the Best Indie Rock award in the Houston Press in 2005 and 2003, with nominations every year from 2001 to the present.

For the next 18 months, scads of touring took the band all over the lower 48 states. The boys hit the Midwest and South repeatedly and both coasts twice, doing stretches with the likes of Old Time Relijun (K Records), The Show Is The Rainbow (Tsk Tsk), Danielson (Secretly Canadian), and Emperor X (Discos Mariscos.) Recording and mixing on the full-length that was to become Dry Futures technically ended December 31, 2004, but since that time Bring Back The Guns released a 7-Inch on Discos Mariscos and appeared on two nationally distributed compilations. The band found a home for its debut on local upstart indie label Feow Records (founded by band member Matthew Brownlie and musician Jana Hunter), which has slated the album release for October 2, 2007. Relentless touring is in the works for the fall.

Imagine the bow-tied rage of a chess genius at his first lost tournament, a spelling bee prodigy after missing an easy word. Imagine the anger irrational numbers feel, when they realize they'll never make the bigtime. Imagine the neighbor dog over the fence, that wants out so badly he's frothing at the mouth. Where do you go when you can't get out? Imagine being “shushed” in the library when you weren't even the one talking, a kid so pissed off he's going to walk until he doesn't want to fight anymore. Set the rage to music. That's Bring Back the Guns.

“Bring Back the Guns is making some of the most original music in the city. The band's music crackles with energy and makes the heart race. It isn't simple, and it's often weird, but these are the very reasons it engages you. You listen, you try to piece together what is being said and why, and then the key changes or the song stops and the rug is pulled out from under you.”— Houston Chronicle

“..one of the coolest bands I’ve ever seen/heard, from Houston or otherwise...chances are that nobody in this town will ever realize how good they are, even though they might well be the closest we’ve got to the Archers of Loaf, Spoon, or Pavement... Skewed, mildly ‘progressive’ pop songs that are smart as hell...” — spacecityrock.com

Dry Futures Tracklisting:
Release Date: October 2nd, 2007
01. No More Good Songs
02. The Art of Malnutrition
03. Let's Not
04. Dry Futures
05. Take It Like A
06. Face Smear Pt. 1 (All Right Now)
07. The Family Name
08. The Season for Treason
09. Radio Song '04
10. I Am the Voice of Sarah Strickland's Rage
11. In Piles/On File (MP3)

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