Celebration Guns – Quitter EP

It’s not often you find a debut EP from a band that you are so stunned with, that in the afterglow of listening to it you discover it’s all demos. So is the case with Celebration Guns, though what would you expect from former members of Wizards of Time, NEBA and Tiger Heist?  Apparently, lead singer Justin Weir recorded most of this “demo debut” using Garageband, but you wouldn’t know it from first listen. “Hold Still” opens the Quitter EP and recalls The Strokes when they were vital and they mattered, which means to say you have a brilliant hook heavy tune filled with angular guitars and distorted vox. Seeing this live with the full band is even more impressive. It’s simply a great song and a fantastic opener, with clever catchy lyrics to boot: “At least you made a mess of me at least you got the best of me”. The dreamy pop of “The Ticking Clock” is reminiscent of the roots of indie rock in the days when Superchunk and Pavement ruled the college airwaves, with  a killer guitar hook that will stick to the inside of your skull.  Meanwhile “Go To Sleep” is a quirky little dream pop number that will make your head spin with a grin. Seriously, this is the kind of sound I would drive hundreds of miles to find on record in my youth–evoking the Chapel Hill scene of the 90s, bands like Archers of Loaf, Metal Flake Mother and Polvo. Love every second of it.

The pure shoegazing quality of “Ride Home” is brilliantly presented in a Gaussian wash of feedback, pounding tribal drums and chiming guitars—a pure hazy song that will send you drifting away. The drums are straight out of Pornography-era Cure, while the guitars recall Joy Division, with a My Bloody Valentine sheen across all else. And still there is a certain pop aesthetic maintained, which is no easy feat with those elements. Following in its wake, “The Wait Is Over” completes this amazing collection with hypnotic vocals layered in a round that will swim around your mind for days in a daze. And these are just demos? It’s goddamn perfect! In truth, Celebration Guns’ demos sound better than many bands finished products. I can’t wait to hear the full band recordings that they promise are coming soon, until then I’ll try to catch every show they play.

They made their live debut at the Twin Ponies release show and holy hell what a debut it was! They are now officially my favorite new band in town with their clever combination of feedback washed, air infused shoegazing indie pop filled with flawless hooks and enough rock nerve to get you moving. I’m not sure I’ve ever been more impressed with a band during their first performance, these guys just totally nailed it right out of the starting gate–fucking amazing. In other great news concerning Celebration Guns, the Quitter EP will be released on cassette by Rubber Brother Records with an unreleased bonus track–Fuck Yes! So my new favorite band is on my new favorite label. Sweet. Seriously, keep your eyes on these guys!

You can literally keep your eyes on these guys by getting your ass to Last Exit Live this Thursday, September 21 for a spectacular show with an unbelievable lineup that includes As In We, Morning Theft and one of my all time favorite bands headlining: Small Leaks Sink Ships!!! One of the ironies of this lineup for me is that I skipped Morning Theft’s live debut to catch Celebration Guns’ live debut, now I get to see them in one night. And did I mention Small Leaks Sink Ships??? It starts at 9pm and there is no reason on this planet you won’t want to catch all four bands for $5! This is a miraculous arrangement of the  planets and the stars and if your worried about Friday morning, well, hell it’s nothing that Coffee and Tacos can’t fix…so fuck it, have some indie rock fun and freak out.


(An edited version of this article appeared in the November 2013 Issue of JAVA Magazine)