When you come across to an album that’so deeply impregnated with the musical and cinematographic culture of the 80s, as it is the case of Gunship‘s Dark All Day, your feelings cannot be anything but contrasted. For those who lived their teenage phase in that period of time (like me) it’s both funny and fascinating to experience this journey into retro-synth atmospheres, cyber punk landscaspes and many other references from music, video-games and comics. On the other hand, the experience of travelling back in time remains interesting and valid as long as it’s supported by cool ideas and engaging motifs, otherwise it easily becomes flat and monotonous. In this respect, Dark All Day places exactly in the middle: some of the tracks of the LP are brilliant. exciting and even surprisingly “modern”, despite the adoption of vintage instruments and dynamics. Other songs of the album, on the other hand, are definitely less convincing and this is where, unfortunately, the form seems to prevail over the substance.
Gunship is a musical project launched in 2010 by a number of fascinating figures of the UK underground scene. Dan Haigh, in particular, has always demonstrated to be a visionary artist and this band is only one of the many initiatives in which he’ve been involved so far (among these we include the production of soundtracks, video games, music videos and film trailers).
In this sense, the particular musical direction that Haigh and his fellow companions have given to Gunship seems genuine and it generally goes beyond a mere exercise in style, or the manieristic celebration of the 80s. As I said, however, the operation of transposing to modern canons the atmospheres of John Carpenter’s movies and cyberpunk novels necessitates of more than just a bunch of very good songs. In this respect, the operation carried out by Gunship can not be still considered one hundred percent successful.
Highlights: When You Grow Up Your Heart Dies, Thrasher, and the title track Dark All Day.