CHVRCHES - GunListen
The sound of a band honing their craft when they could have stuck to one winning formula.
The litmus test for Chvrches was always going to rest on whether they could back-up the super-sheen novelty of their early tracks while still sounding exciting.
On every one of their songs to date they present a wall of synths, essentially, pouring in from all sides while Lauren Mayberry holds her own against the surroundings. It's not like they're hitting the repeat button, per se. 'Lies', 'Recover' and indeed 'Gun' vary big time in terms of lyrics, mood. But they're paced to the point where they act as sonic assaults. Is it possible to become immune, immobile when confronted with these on such a regular basis?
'Gun' works because even within the flurried synths and verse-bridge-chorus structure, it offers something new. Every lyric of Mayberry's is bittersweet. "I will be your gun, and it's you I'll come for" is hardly a cliched romantic gesture. She's always had a knack for sapping the joy out of the rest of the group's bloodthirsty backdrops, but all-out melancholy rarely sounds as nigh-on euphoric as this.
It's not the proof of potential chart-stardom that 'The Mother We Share' might've been, but it's the sound of a band honing their craft when they could have stuck to one winning formula. Instead they've been prompted with a whole host of options, all pointing in the same bright direction.