EP review: James And The Cold Gun – False Start

South Wales alt.rockers James And The Cold Gun announce themselves at ear-ringing volume…

EP review: James And The Cold Gun – False Start
Emma Wilkes

Having provided some of the ethereal guitar sounds that helped to make Holding Absence’s two albums so gorgeously compelling, James Joseph doesn’t need to demonstrate any more proof that he’s got serious musical chops. Despite that, on his new project James And The Cold Gun’s debut EP, he does it anyway, steering a swaggering punk’n’roll ship that dwarfs the sounds and ambitions of their contemporaries. It’s guitar music at its most primal, focused on the simple business of making enough noise to have the neighbours complaining, and spiking the adrenaline to dangerous levels.

There’s no magic formula as to why False Start sounds as great as it does – it just sounds colossal as fuck. Opener Seven thunders in with stomping drums and garagey guitar, but gets properly exciting when a sigh from their eponymous frontman cues in a swirling spiral of unbridled noise. It’s followed up by the earthier, punkier Around The Bend and the chuggier Plug Me In, which flaunts a more abrasive side with its barbed shout-screams: 'Plug me in / I want to feel something.'

The real gem of this EP, however, is the outstanding It’s Mutual. It’s the catchiest offering of these five tracks, boasting a sweetly sticky melody and a gargantuan wall of angsty guitar that sounds powerful enough to blow out the electrics (and the fact it comes from a band so early in their career makes it all the more stunning). It means grungy closing track Long Way Home has a mighty tough act to follow but it does a fine job, ramping up the fury with an incandescent howl of, 'You say I’m nothing to believe in,' and a sawtoothed guitar groove to match.

It’s probably better that James and his Cold Guns gets themselves out of pub basements for safety’s sake, because with a sound as huge as this, they’re going to have the walls crumbling.

Verdict: 4/5

For fans of: Rocket From The Crypt, Snake Eyes, The Mysterines

False Start Is released on April 29 via Venn

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