What do Jesus and Mary Chain, Oasis and the Hives have in common?
Alan McGee, the founder of Creation records, who brought numerous large bands to fame. Alan’s new joint venture with Cherry Red records, 359 Music, consists of Alan signing talent, (new and old), to use 359 as a ‘launchpad’ into the music business. The large mixture of artists on 359 exemplify Alan’s 90′s influences, however there’s also a large amount of much welcomed originality thrown in the mix too.
One of these artists in particular, Gun Club Cemetery, who formed last year, have been snapped up by 359. GCC consist of Perth-based Alex Lowe on vocals and guitar, previously of Hurricane #1, Manchester based Nick Repton on bass and Colin Ward from Nottingham on drums. The band’s inspirations stem from 60′s artists such as the Faces and the Stones, but also predate this to earlier rock and roll artists.
Last year, on GCC’s self released E.P, Alex’s Rod Stewart-like vocals and the heavily saturated guitar tone caught the attention of the masses, and in particular, Alan McGee. On their 359 single release, Hollow Face Of A Shallow Man enters with an immediately recognisable ‘anthem’ like riff, similar to Supergrass’ Richard III. However, it is twinned with a shuffling rock and roll piano, think The Faces, Stay With Me. Hollow Face Of A Shallow Man is a manifestation of early Mod subculture, especially with the connotations towards early American and British Rhythm and Blues.
It would be easy to tarnish all artists on 359 as being a ploy to reform Brit-Pop for today’s audiences considering Alan’s pedigree. There’s still a tangible market for it, (consider Oasis’ legacy), and it is something that has paid dividends for Alan in the past. However, the label’s brew of homegrown talent, and the diversity of sound begs to differ. Alan merely wants to promote great music and leave the artists to do what they do best.
Upon hearing GCC, it’s incredibly easy for the listener to compare them to Oasis. However, this is an ignorant comparison, and looking past this, you realise that their inspirations long predate the 90’s. Their sound is increasingly Americana, but also hints towards British bands of a similar era such as the Animals, although GCC are of amuch higher octane.
The listener only obtains a glimpse of the fast paced, high octane band on their single. The full experience is to witness the raw power of GCC live, where the band’s plan fully comes to fruition. On 359‘s website, Alex describes this plan for the band, “I want Gun Club Cemetery to be a great band and to stick together through thick and thin. I just want to make it work, make some cool records and get out on the road.” Gun Club Cemetery’s no frills attached approach to music is a pleasing and welcome reminder that there are bands out there making great, old fashioned rock and roll. GCC aren’t a band trying to befit the model of what the music industry expects of them, instead, they are making music inspired by their heroes, and it’s paid off.