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To be kind, it’s a display of how limited and inflexible Gunship’s ‘80s palette truly is; to be not-so-kind, it’s a chore to get through that burns through its best ideas in the first half (charitably), and sees fit to crater any and all creative impulses for the remainder of this hour-long brick of synth buzz. Regardless as a somewhat self-professed metalhead, synthwave provided some of the same release that I get from riffs and blast beats but it does so through a completely different sonic milieu.

Their follow-up three years later, Dark All Day, leaned into industrial a wee bit more and despite this fact that catchiness only slightly wavered. On their self-titled debut one of the songs that stood out for everyone was the nuclear powered “Tech Noir” which featured an introduction by none other than god of synth soundtracks, John Carpenter.What’s most telling, though, is how, regardless of that reach or the budget they’ve got or the big names they’ll align themselves with, Gunship never cease to be utterly forgettable. If that’s the intent, then obviously Unicorn is a roaring success, but empty-calorie nostalgia-baiting with nothing beneath the shiny, neon veneer is obviously not a good outcome. Here, you’ve got John Carpenter, Tim Cappello, Tyler Bates and Carpenter Brut, the appearance of all of whom feel like a roundabout way of Gunship legitimising what they’re doing without the need to stake much of a claim themselves. GUNSHIP’s self-titled album from 2015 has been in near constant rotation for eight years and its nostalgia-driven neon atmosphere is both warm and inviting from start to finish. Another five years have passed and Unicorn is upon us and it is loaded to the proverbial gills with both songs and guest artists.

Without it, there’s no way an act running this short of ideas would have accumulated the reach they have, and broken out beyond an occasional side-project at best. Everything Is Noise is here to bring you music that you connect with, and provide a positive, accessible space to discuss this music in a open-minded community of fans and creators. Named after the international icon of fantasy and imagination, UNICORN is emblazoned with the tagline “Imagination Is A Weapon”.On top of that, pretty much from Ghost onwards, Gunship begin to cycle through their bag in tricks in even more obvious fashions, and it becomes so easy to lose interest when it’s padded to that extent. It’s not just her voice though, that propels the song but the appearance of some downright glorious saxophone midway through for a, dare we say it, sexy solo. If you like the 80’s synth sound mixed in with classic sci-fi like terminator, robocop, aliens et al with a nice sprinkling of cyberpunk, chances are you will enjoy this album. The review consistently leans towards negative commentary, and the language used suggests a level of personal frustration or disappointment with the album.

Maybe it’s the beats, the industrial overtones, synth’s irrevocable connection to horror movies, or something else entirely.Lost Shadow’ and closer ‘Postcard From the American Dream’ are arguably the worst for this, two ballads packed next to each other at the tail end that, instead of closing things with a bang, mean it’s more of a whimper. While in some cases this could be seen as a negative thing, for Unicorn and GUNSHIP in general this certainly works. GUNSHIP have always seemed like an entity that could easily float into any space within the electronic music scene that they wanted to and bless their hearts they just don’t care to land in one spot. Early in their career GUNSHIP very understandably did this, but on this album they are embracing the future in a way that they haven’t before.

You’d think they’d be more memorable overall, given how ready their fanbase was to pounce on any assertions that Dark All Day wasn’t a good album (which it wasn’t), but maybe that’s just how it goes when there’s so little musical nutrition to go on. Da ich bisher jedes Album auf irgendeinem Medium zuhause hab (neben den Dauerplaylist in den Streamingdiensten), war hier diesmal die Vinylvariante dran. While critical reviews are a common part of music journalism, a more balanced and objective approach would provide a fairer assessment for readers. Their restlessness is nothing but a benefit for us as this record is a warm welcome back and quite the treat for those of us that have been waiting for years for that neon and chrome synthwave that they are so adept at creating.

Of course, there’s plenty of saxophone; it’s more prominent in some songs than others, especially the aforementioned ‘Empress of the Damned’ and late album sleeper hit ‘Nuclear Date Night’ where alongside a bluesy solo, there’s some downright stunning hooks that’ll leave grins plastered across faces in jazzy ecstasy. I’m not exactly sure what the connection to synthwave is for those of us that generally enjoy the heavier genres.

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