Album Review
Young Guns - All Our Kings Are DeadYoung Guns – All Our Kings Are Dead

On May 1st of this year when Young Guns Gustav Wood and Ben Joliffe told me all about their “ambitious” debut album, one with a sound far beyond the relatively foetal years of their music careers and one that was certainly not going to be Mirrors: The Sequel, I listened with an open mind. After all, isn’t that what every band thinks of their first? And, let’s be honest here, Mirrors is far from shabby so moving away would be no mean feat.

Months of ever growing anticipation were today satisfied by that album landing on my doorstep. From that first listen two things were realised: one was that Gustav and Ben’s, perhaps clichéd, proclamations were bang on the money and secondly, this debut is special, brutal and honest. All Our Kings Are Dead is a twelve track musing on the state of our lost generation; the broken hearts, broken homes and unbroken dreams battled and won on a daily basis despite a distinct lack of real role models to guide us through the war path.

Latest single, Crystal Clear chases the tail of Sons Of Apathy to open AOKAD in the biggest way possible; each track has anthem tattooed all across their Fender calloused finger tips, branded by big rock riffs and battle cry choruses. These anthems motivate and simultaneously stick two fingers up to the world that keeps you down and forcing you to exceed your own expectations.

Young Guns’ lyrical maturity and melody writing nous are proven throughout this record with Meter & Verse, At The Gates and the beautiful After The War acting as beacons of light. The five-some show off their versatility whilst never losing what quintessentially is ‘Young Guns’ – big chorused, drum heavy, riff layered anthemica. The content of Stitches and Elements isn’t what makes the songs, but the raw, stripped back vocals unveil an endearing and unfeigned vulnerability. The emotion pouring off every note, lyric and breath is so rarely heard from a, gulp, pop-rock band yet at no point is this honesty unbelievable.

The unfaltering spit and sawdust work ethic of the High Wycombe rock squad has paid off; AOKAD is a cluster of twelve mature (read: grown up not boring), relatable and scarily honest rock songs. Although pegged as pop-rock, this record sets Young Guns in a different league to their genre peers with their heady mix of rockability, unequivocal hook and melody writing talents and dashing good looks. Brit rock’s biggest breakthroughs of the last twelve months have produced a stunning and diverse album that is greater than any Mirrors 2 could have hoped to be; although Weight Of The World has cheekily snuck into the dozen. This is a storming debut that shows the promise of this band of perfectionists and leaves you completely satisfied. For now.

Listen to: Crystal Clear, After The War and D.O.A.

Catch them: Young Guns are currently on tour with Deaf Havana as well as popping up at festivals across the country and have a headline UK tour scheduled for October 2010.

For fans of: Big, ballsy rock with hooks and melodies to boot.


Review by Jessica Acreman
 Band Members

Gustav (Vocals
John (Guitar)
Fraser (Guitar)
Simon (Bass)
Ben (Drums)
 Track Listing
1. Sons Of Apathy (Album Version)
2. Crystal Clear
3. Meter & Verse
4. Weight Of The World
5. D.O.A
6. Stiches
7. Winter Kiss
8. Elements
9. After The War
10. Endless Grey
11. At the Gates
 Band Related Links
Young Guns Myspace
 Review Score Code
- Top Cheese
- Brilliant
- Pretty damn good
- Ok I guess
- What Was That?