‘History Of Guns would like you to know that everything is intentional, even the mistakes’. That’s the message on their labels website, Line Out Records. It’s a good introduction for what follows on their fourth album Whatever You Do, Don’t Turn Up At Twelve.
Whatever You Do, Don’t Turn Up At Twelve is a musical journey through the dark side of your mind. It’s told through a mix of punk, industrial synths, beats, metal and vocals. I’m not even entirely sure I’ve listed them all. The use of synths occurs throughout the album and helps establish a bleak and dark atmosphere. But as dark and bleak as things may get the variety of sounds continually brighten the experience. Friday Night, After Work shows History Of Guns using drumming and synths to driving effect. However just two tracks later Who Controls You shows the band channelling their punk side. Distorted guitars and raucous vocals suit the album perfectly proving it’s not the music but the sentiment that defines this album.
Anthem 23 (Follow the Fiend) shows History Of Guns taking to the dance floor merging synths, beats, a great riff and haunting vocals. The vocals on this album add a whole new layer of sinister vibes to the album. Just like any other sound, their variety keeps you guessing. They range from punk through to what is nearly operatic with plenty in-between. The production on the album is very strong, highlighted by tracks such as the 13 minute epic Departure, Journey, Arrival with its slow and moody opening and big feel. This level of production is shown again by the inclusion of piano in many tracks. It contrasts with darker elements like a neon hamster that’s sneaked into a cage full of gerbils
The albums not all darkness though, there’s the occasional beacon of light in the lyrics such as the Arrival phase of Departure.... The album closer Incarnates even closes with ‘we are here for you’. Standout tracks on the album are the previously mentioned Departure... and These Are The Walls. This verges on metal and sweeps you along on its energy.
Whatever You Do, Don’t Turn Up At Twelve is full of interesting noises. It is an album made for quality headphones or loud speakers if ever there was one. You will hear something new every time you listen. It’s available for free from Line Out Records with the option to donate.
It may take a few listens but once it’s in your head you’ll not regret it.
Whatever You Do, Don't Turn Up At Twelve
1 - Kicking Down The Doors
2 - Friday Night, After Work
3 - I.C.E.
4 - Who Controls You?
5 - These Are The Walls
6 - Cold Coma
7 - These Songs
8 - Closing Down This Reality
9 - Departure, Journey, Arrival
10 - Anthem 23 (Follow The Fiend)
11 - Incarnates