We Are the Union - The Gun Show Must Go On (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

We Are the Union

The Gun Show Must Go On (2009)

Paper + Plastick

The Gun Show Must Go On is a three-song precursor EP to We Are the Union's eventual debut full-length for their new label, Paper + Plastick, and works quite well on two fronts -- it serves as both a solid introduction to the band for new listeners and a tiding over for fans already digging WATU's brand of pop-punk with horns first forged on their self-released 2007 full-length, Who We Are.

Despite being just a three-song digital EP, however, The Gun Show Must Go On gets off to a curious start with "We Don't Care If Yesterday Burns, Stoke Up the Fire," a song that seemingly sees We Are the Union utilizing the everything-but-the-kitchen-sink approach, cramming just about everything (crunchy, catchy guitar parts, quick horn lines in the bridge, solid vocal harmonies, plenty of subtle tempo changes and even a few ska-tastic upstrokes) that the band does into a near-four-minute song. The end result isn't bad by any means, but it definitely would have been better served as the final song on the EP.

The other two songs here are much more focused, and better for it. The sped-up tempo and huge, bouncy refrain of "Rearranging Deck Chairs on the Titanic" are definite highlights, as is vocalist Reed Wolcott's performance; his confident, clean vocals are awfully reminiscent of those of Steve Rawles of Belvedere, fitting the tone of the backing music perfectly. The horn section is more prominent in "Five Out of Five Kids Who Kill Love Slayer" and its infectious chorus, well-placed "whoa-oh"s and bombastic ending make for a satisfying listen; that one's surely going to be fun in a live setting.

Hopefully the sequencing on We Are the Union's upcoming full-length will be better, but The Gun Show Must Go On is a quick, fun listen that ought to whet the appetite of those looking for such a thing, and continues the string of quality releases from Paper + Plastick.