A horrible hack



Year Released: 2012
Format: Download
Label: pure noise
Reviewed by james pacanowski on Dec 8, 2012
I should probably begin this review by mentioning that this is gonna get real contextual on a Kieron Gillen-esque New Journalism level, a level of subjectivity maybe you aren't quite prepared for. Obviously subjectivity is sort of a given, but not to this degree. So I will add the disclaimer now that if you're a regular visitor to the C, chances are you probably won't be interested in this album. Continue reading if you feel like indulging me, but otherwise I wouldn't waste your time. Without further ado:

In 2008 I was making flyers for a friend of a friend's band called A Clean Getaway, a Baltimore-based pop-punk band. I guess around a year later they changed their name to All We Are and in March of 2009 while visiting friends, I saw them play with Fireworks, Title Fight, This Time Next Year and A Loss For Words at the old Charm City Art Space in Baltimore when it was just a shitty basement with exposed pipes poking down from the ceiling - I have no idea what it looks like now, but I understand it moved at some point a few years ago. Some lumbering asshole who looked like he was in his mid-30s - his name was 'Fubu' Dave and he used to do "security" for Set Your Goals or something like that, he was seemingly always around them at least - was there going apeshit to music being played by kids nearly half his age. My friend wore a Spiderman mask that night for reasons that still aren't clear to me, but seeing this photo of Spidey getting his Title Fight on cheers me endlessly.

A few days later we saw All We Are again in the singer's garage. The show originally was set to be at some other venue in Baltimore, but Man Overboard were on the bill and, supposedly because their logo involves a stencil of 2 crossed AK47s, the venue shut the show down. Life in post-9/11 America. Anyway, the show went ahead in the garage instead. My friend wore a Batman mask this time, The Wonder Years who also played told me to take my shirt off (??) and after the show we were shouted at by the residents of Suburban Nowheresville, Maryland who I guess had some noise complaints that needed hearing.

I don't really remember when All We Are broke up or when their singer joined Handguns, I lost track of him really after I finally graduated from Myspace to Facebook. Trying to hold on to life as a 15 year old or something (as opposed to people on Facebook trying to cling on to life as an 18-23 year old). Which I guess is sort of the same thing I am getting at in this review. I can't explain to you the conflicted nostalgia kick this album gives me; I don't necessarily like it, as the whole Fairweather/Boys Night Out vibe isn't really one that appeals to me nowadays. But there was a time when it did and it's pretty fucking difficult not to think of Spiderman yelling at Title Fight or how the already stupid Maryland accent sounds even more ridiculous when being used by an angry neighbour cussing out some 18 year olds when I listen to this.

So yeah, do I like Handguns' music? Not really. But do I like how this album makes me feel? A little bit. Maybe I'll get past the point where stuff like this makes me feel like a kid who didn't know any better. Maybe not. Personally, I think it'd be a shame if I were to get to the point where I completely shun this sort of thing because, like it or not, in a roundabout way it's why I am sitting here reviewing this album for the C. Because obviously being a reviewer for Collective-Zine is a select and exclusive club reserved only for anyone who tells Andy they want to review something.

I dunno what the hell to think anymore.

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