With an impressive debut behind them, British trio Gunship have returned with ‘Dark All Day’ – an album that delves deeper into science fiction. Building upon their analogue sound, the group takes risks with saxophones and deep references to achieve impressive results.
‘Woken Furies’ kicks the proceedings off with a spoken word introduction by Altered Carbon author, Richard K. Morgan, before an attack of dirty bass lines and punchy kick drums drag the track towards melodic synth lines and floating vocals.
Throughout the album, the group display a layered soundtrack, creating atmospheres that dictate the progression of each track. By focusing on an economic range of motifs for each composition, Gunship are able to bring in and out multiple layers on a whim, giving an abundance of sonic changes without losing momentum.
Film scores have formed a distinct influence for the album, helping keep its cohesion, as shown in its lead single and titular track. Utilising a saw bass line as a menacing conduit of tension, the song keeps an ominous pulse, allowing the contrasting choruses to burst through the speaker.
The track is also an example at how well the use of prominent vocals works in the genre. With the verses being handled by guest vocalist Indiana, her performance becomes a layer within the track, building the sections to their explosive climax.
Keeping within their primary influences, Gunship interprets Ready Player One with ‘Art3mis & Parzival’, a duet between vocalist Alex Westaway and Stella Le Page. The track uses cycling melodies and modulating synths to yet again sweep you away into the record’s landscape.
For the majority of the record the group keep their sonic vision strong with an abundance of diversity and references for science fiction fans. Sadly, the pace drops with a cover of Cyndi Lauper‘s ‘Time After Time’. It’s a fresh take on the original, but it feels out place with the remainder of the record.
With that being the main point of contention, it highlights how strong Gunship are with their sound and overall aesthetic. ‘Dark All Day’ is a neon drenched soundtrack of a distant future, based on a foundation of solid songwriting.