Shooting Blanks were a pop
punk band formed out of Chicago in 2001. After releasing four self-produced
records themselves and playing around two hundred shows - including dates with
Taking Back Sunday, Less Than Jake and the Winkle himself, Vanilla Ice - they
split up. But, in yet another example of just how stupid the fractured music
industry is in these tortured times, the band appear to have found a new lease
of life since they broke up! Their fourth long-player - 'You're Not Gonna Want
To Hear This' - has been re-released by the Arizona based record label F-Bomb
Records resulting in the unfamiliar sight of Shooting Blanks product being available
on the shelves of major North American retailers. Add to that the fact that
a number of their songs were featured on an episode of the brainless dating
show 'Next' on MTV, the channel once rumoured to play music. The band's thoughts
on this post-break up activity? "Not being a band anymore has brought us
such great successes. Let this be a lesson to everyone to stop short of your
dreams and never follow through on anything...."
First impressions of 'You're Not Gonna Want To Hear This' are that it smacks of being a product very much of its time. Knock-off Kiss logo aside - doesn't Gene $immon$ have people killed for daring to use that font? - the geeky overtures of the album cover and the first couple of listens are just way too reminiscent of all the other bands of this, or similar, ilk that broke out big; New Found Glory, the afore-mentioned Less Than Jake, Weezer and, of course, Blink 182. But, while this was obviously a factor to the initial limited success, to dismiss this record on those points alone would be doing it a terrible disservice because there is definitely a little bit of spunk in its belly.
The thirteenth and final track on the album asks whatever happened to good old fashioned rock 'n' roll and namechecks Nikki Sixx whilst urging Nickelback to suck their dicks so, with that in mind, it would be rude not to pick the positives from the bones of the previous dozen offerings just like the stars of Joe Dante's Piranha. Stand out tracks that threaten to pound down the shit-brown doors of indifference are the album's breakout song 'It's So Easy' (no, not that one), 'The Lost Skeleton' - a schlocky homage to Larry Blamire's love letter to 50's B-movies, The Lost Skeleton Of Cadavra - and 'I Can't Say Goodbye' which houses the meatiest vocals on the entire record.
What the future holds for Shooting Blanks is as mysterious as Arthur C. Clarke's sex life, pre-death of course. Bands seem to reform every other day and only the most hardcore of punks would begrudge a band like this from reaping the rewards of their newly found, yet badly timed, tilt at fame. Not very punk rock, but what is these days? Oh yes, selling your shirts in Hot Topic, having hit reality TV shows and investing your millions in ATM's for fast food restaurants........
by Gaz E.
Visit the Shooting Blanks Website