Sixgun Radio - Please Press Me (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

Sixgun Radio

Please Press Me (2003)


A reviewer lamented earlier about a band being "the type that Epitaph should pick up" and I'm tempted to reuse that comment here. That sentiment has nothing to do with label preference (Bankshot's an awesome label), it's made out of longing for a style the powers-that-be in the punk scene are no longer paying attention too. This is that melodic hardcore sound that was everywhere in the mid 90s, championed by Californian labels like Epitaph or Fat Wreck. It was a time when pop punk was nothing more than Ramones-inspired tunes from the Lookout! stable and when the rise of emo music was nothing more than a bad campfire story we'd use to scare kids.

Of course I'm romanticizing that style, but Sixgun Radio fits into that period so well.

The most obvious comparison here is with Down By Law, although Please Press Me is certainly more aggressive then the latest DBL record. Geography plays a factor too, as the influence of the New York hardcore and New Jersey punk scenes is definitely present in the music. The most important thing about Please Press Me is how fresh it sounds. Bands from the 90s skate punk scene that are still around may put out some decent records, but that fire of youth is long gone. Sixgun Radio gives the style a much-needed shot in the arm.

Despite the importance I'm putting on their genre, Sixgun Radio don't mind deviating a bit from an otherwise strong set of punk rock songs. "Bring It Back" is a good example, as the tune jumps out the gate like an early Forgotten single, only to lead into a ska bridge and conclude with a light hearted instrumental. Furthermore the acoustic "Kings And Queens" and rollicking cover Billy Joel's "You May Be Right" keep things from falling into a pattern. Choking Victim / Leftover Crack frontman Stza even makes an appearance on "Bitter End." However it's in well-written hooky punk rock that Sixgun Radio really shines, especially on tracks like "Hard Work Big Dreams," "Arrowed!" and "Culture Crave."

Of course there's a few small problems here. The drums in a few songs seem to be a bit too high in the mix. Furthermore if you're looking for high-art or striking originality you won't find it here. However Please Press Me should definitely please those of us who grew up with bands in this style, a style that desperately needed some new blood.

Culture Crave