by Dan Goldin (@post_trash_)
Vancouver's Gun Control is a band led by the always charismatic and amusing Steve Mann (vocals/guitar), the driving force behind File Under: Music, one of Canada's most eclectic record labels. If you're unfamiliar with the label, it's home to bands like post-hardcore greats NEEDS, new wave pop duo Gang Signs, indie rock jokesters Slam Dunk, and the ambitious One Single At A Time video series (which has featured Pill Friends, Wallgrin, Johnny Foreigner and more). All this is to say that the guy lives and breathes music, with wide scale tastes and a passion for the music he believes in. Gun Control, a trio rounded out by Justin Penney (drums) and Matt McEwing (bass) is a band worth believing in. Their scrappy indie rock is full of jangly fuzz and loose melodies, drawing influence from ramshackle bands like The Replacements, Guided By Voices, and The Wipers.
Set to self-release their debut album, Volume 1, on February 3rd, we're excited to premiere "City Of No," a ragged anti-gentrification anthem (a common theme in all forms of Vancouver punk) that rocks itself into a bit of a stupor. Recorded in the band's practice space and the Vancouver Public Library, there's a lo-fi haze that coats their mangled pop, working to the band's advantage. There's a sloppy intelligence to "City Of No" (and Volume 1 as a whole), it's a free spirited rock and roll record that... like, just wants to rock and maybe have some fun too. Mann's vocals carry a defiant twang as he repeats "we'll be the last ones to go in the city of no". As the song builds in intensity the band peel into a crescendo of squealing guitars and a near motorik rhythm, raising the tension while Mann defiantly howls in wordless defeat.
Speaking about "City Of No," Mann shared:
"'City of No' was inspired by the loss of our jam space to the inevitable creative heat death that comes before the arrival of a fresh hole in the ground for a baby condo. It was a perfect storm moment where we could have made a sensible decision to stop making music and finally focus on compulsively accumulating wealth in an attempt to continue to afford and possibly advance our lives in this incredible city of Vancouver. The song ponders the universe where I'm someone who puts together the $500,000 per bedroom condo dowry so Vancouver might stop rejecting me, but ends in reality where I just decide to be too stubborn to give in to market forces."
Gun Control's Volume 1 is out February 3rd.