November 08, 2011 - Pure Noise
Handguns claim to play melodic hardcore, but really, they are a pop-punk band, through and through. Rollicking basslines make way for sing-along vocals in opening track “Smoke And Mirrors,” an ode to doing it your own way—or, in this case, the pop-punk way. The guitarists pick-sweep like demons, the drummer doesn’t relent his 4/4 attack, and the background harmonies never stop. All three Handguns songs come with an over-glossy production that sounds like the engineer just shrugged and pushed the Blink-182 button. It’s full of pep, but one-dimensional as all heck.
On the flipside, Forever Came Calling add metallic riffs to their brand of early Senses Fail-style pop-punk. The production on their three songs is more organic than their split EP counterparts, a real DIY sound that suits their energetic songs well. “Contrition” is a 52-second addendum to blazer “Knott Sky Or Luckie?” which then leads into “Front Porch Sunrise,” a melodic blast that could be this generation’s “Can I Say.” Snotty, impassioned, and urgent, Forever Came Calling are definitely the band to watch.