I feel like the new wave of shoegaze influenced bands get needlessly criticized. I guess the reason is because how revolutionary the genre was when it first started. I mean, come on, some of those shambling British bands just came way the fuck out of left field. In recent years we have seen a lot of bands mixing more spacious indie rock with the dense, fuzzed out shoegaze stuff. The Joy Formidable and The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart are great examples. In a similar way, Center Of The Sun has crafted a hell of a record.
Machine Gun is, at it’s heart, a pop record. While there are clear earmarks of the whole nouveau shoegaze thing, it never really insists on itself in the way some of these records do. While playing around with the genre norms, Center Of The Sun are able to maintain a pop edge. It can get kind of dense and gloomy sounding in spots, but there are some great melodies shining through.
What really makes this band so interesting is the very disparate range of bands all the members have been (or are currently in). Other projects run the gamut from metal to noise rock, to electro-pop. That such a wide array of projects could offshoot into something as fucking solid as this is kind of surprising.Everything just seems to mesh. Rick Contes’ and Chris Nolen’s guitars blend perfectly with Ally Hoffmann’s voice. The interplay is really fantastic. This shines through on songs like “Cease” and “Reckless Sea.” The rhythm section of Joe Elmore and Ben Gascho keep everything tight and moving.
For fans of the genre, there is absolutely something here for you. There are some great melodic, spacey bits in songs like “Turnabout.” There are some heavy, guitar led songs like “Reckless Sea” and “Home.” No matter what mood you’re in, they got you covered. Just great gloomy, fuzzy songs. There is a lot to like here.
In short, this record will appeal to all sorts of people. Indie rock fans, shoegaze fans, and even those chillwave nerds can get down to this. Check it out.