Fools, released in October 2011, is the latest release from Boston-based Mod Gun. After listening to the entire record, it became very clear to me that the band draws on a multitude of influences to achieve their sound. The opening track, “Boxes,” sounds as though Chris Martin wrote a song and had it orchestrated and performed by Built to Spill. The band immediately switches gears on the second track, “Fools.” This song opens with a Jimi Hendrix-inspired riff, bursting into a 90s indie-rock, gang vocal chorus. Mod Gun has an excellent grasp of dynamics—the entire record is full of changes from soft to loud, loud to soft, and everything in between.
One of my favorite tracks on the album is “Mrs. Lansbury.” In addition to their manipulation of dynamics, I found their use of an instrumental chorus quite effective. The opening riff of the song is repeated at various times throughout the track, adding a more hard rock/stoner rock vibe to this tune.
I was also impressed with the fifth track, “Coming Back.” This song takes a more experimental/At The Drive-In approach with powerful vocals and huge, effects-laden guitars. The guitar work on the entire record is quite good; the guitars always seem to play just enough—they don’t over do it with five-minute solos, but they aren’t afraid to show off their chops either.
Overall, I would say Fools is a well-thought out and executed record. The band is able to take ideas from a wide range of styles and unite them under one cohesive, energetic sound. Fools is available for free download at the Mod Gun bandcamp site. If you like what you hear and want to check the band out in person, head on over to P.A.’s Lounge in Somerville on March 16 where Mod Gun will be performing live for your listening pleasure.--Daniel McMahon