Militarie Gun brighten up January with “Life Under The Sun”

January can be a long, dark month so cards on the table when I first heard about this project I was excited from the get go. “Life Under The Gun”made its way firmly into my top ten records of 2023, and with a number my all time favourite acts releasing music last year, it was up against some established heavy hitters. 

But after seeing Militarie Gun open for Rival Schools in London last July and witnessing the energy of that record first hand, I was hooked. If the snare hits of the opening track “Do It Faster”, don’t get you moving around the room I urge you to seek a medical professional to check your pulse. 

“Life Under the Sun” takes tracks from that 2023 offering, and reimagines them into lush, stripped back interpretations. Helped along by some incredible featured artists lending their voices, this EP shines a new light on much loved songs and draws attention to the emotion behind them. 

The EP starts with “Never Fucked Up Twice”settling us in with chugging acoustic guitars, droning synths and dreamy piano before Ian Shelton’s gentler vocals take centre stage. Bully joins on the second verse and it’s not long before their vocals start to interweave and play off each other beautifully.

Next up is “Very High”, and here we see a little more of the band creep into the song by combining the tones of swirling electric guitars with acoustics. It feels almost restrained  in its sound, but in a way that at any moment it could explode back into the original version. 

Mannequin Pussy join on track three for an acoustic version of “Will Logic”. We swap out the biting guitars that were a standout feature of the original version, in favour of beautifully crafted harmonies between Shelton and Dabice which perfectly accent the lyrics “why’d I have to call you friend”. 


Last on the roster for treatment is “My Friends Are Having a Hard Time” which features a band who are no stranger to reinterpreting their music, Manchester Orchestra. Andy Hull’s outfit undertook a similar project on 2013’s “Cope”, re-releasing the record the following year under the title “Hope” with fresh versions of all eleven tracks. Militarie Gun  take an almost lo-fi approach to this interpretation, building the track up from piano and voice, to processed drums and adding electronic treatments to the vocals. As Hull and Shelton’s voices start to overlap the lines between them blur and its a track that you can really loose yourself in. 

Finally the EP closes out with an acoustic version of NOFX “Whoops I OD’d”. Slowing it down a touch and taking the gentler vocals explored in the previous four songs and applying them here, the band manages to introduce a fresh layer of melancholy to this classic song. 

To Sum up, “Life Under The Sun” is an experiment that urges you to hear the heart behind the lyrics and shows that this band is more than the energy they bring to the room. These are thoughtful, capable song writers who can get a crowd moving both physically and emotionally.

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