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Guns Up! Outlive

Guns Up! - Outlive
1. Outlive
2. You Break MP3
3. Won't Change For Me
4. Life's Ill
5. Test My Will
6. Frozen
7. Spitting Words
8. Losing Sight
9. Face It
10. (A Means)
11. To An End
2006 1917 Records

Reviewed by: Cory   //   Published: 6/11/2006

I'll be the first to admit that when the last Guns Up! record was released, I didn't pay much attention. It was another release in a long line of relatively uninspired hardcore from Massachusetts. Apparently, Guns Up! realized that they needed something more as well and they really worked hard to redefine their sound. Their new record is definitely still an old school style hardcore record, but where their last record really didn't have anything that set it apart from the competition, Outlive presents a band whose sound has evolved into an unusually well-written breed of hardcore that seems to be taking its cues from 80's thrash metal. Don't get me wrong: Guns Up! are not a crossover act and don't play anything that could ever be construed as metal, but the formula for their new songs is a definite marriage of Megadeth and Madball, Suicidal Tendencies and Sick Of It All. It's something that you could pick up on a bit if you really listened for it on All This Is, but on Outlive, Guns Up! have taken a big risk and the payoff is huge.

The disc opens with the old school hardcore guns blazing and plays as one last minute long adieu to their simpler days. The fantastic "You Break" follows and kicks off the next twenty minutes of hardcore greatness that will undoubtedly appear on many critics' year-end best lists (in the hardcore category at least.) Outlive is one bit of streamlined stylish hardcore after the next. Even the "breakdowns" on this record sound unlike most other acts in hardcore today. They're built around lines instead of a chord and actually fit the songs they're in instead of feeling lumped in to fit with audience expectations. It almost feels like a return to an era that never existed, an alternate version of the mid 90's, when New York Hardcore bands borrowed ideas from east coast metal acts without ever losing any of their hardcore edge. At points, this record reminds me of pretty much every great hardcore disc I can think of and it's not because they're ripping them all off. It's because I got the same feeling from the songs here that I did (and often still do) from those amazing songs.

The one department where this disc doesn't measure up to all the classics is in the lyrics. While Dan Heselton's vocals are always spot on, the lines he's delivering are often a bit off. While Guns Up! have collectively evolved into something much more powerful than they were on their debut release, they apparently forgot to focus on the lyrics and the disc suffers a bit for it. If you don't hold hardcore lyrics to a very high standard, these should satisfy you just fine, but if you're looking for insight and ingenuity, you might be a bit let down. Otherwise, the disc is pretty fantastic from beginning to end. The photography and layout of the disc are also noteworthy because they actually have an interesting concept and strong execution, a rarity for a hardcore record anymore. The record is another in a long line of great releases produced at the Outpost by Jim Seigel.

Bottom Line: I'm very impressed by Guns Up's evolution from their debut for 1917 Records to their follow up, Outlive. It's obvious that unlike so many other hardcore bands, they have no desire to stagnate and this record is a breath of fresh air, both from the band and from the hardcore scene in general. While it might take a while for the general populace to warm up to the new and improved Guns Up!, this disc suggests they have all the right ingredients to become hardcore royalty within the next few years.

anonymous   posted 7/3/2006 3:09:09 AM
this record is pretty cool.... once you get passed how much of a NO WARNING RIP OFF they are and the fact that TODD JONES WROTE THE WHOLE RECORD
DAVE_   posted 6/29/2006 5:38:14 PM
big black guy_   posted 6/19/2006 10:06:07 PM
they kinda sound like the indigo girls. that's kind of nifty, to me.
snails_   posted 6/15/2006 9:07:26 AM
i like
LUGER_   posted 6/14/2006 2:42:04 AM
Clearly ripping off the Spice Girls.

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