Review by Shannon Shumaker
Handguns have done it yet again. Their newest release, Disenchanted, hosts a little bit of everything that made listeners first fall in love with their trademark sound and then some. With an underlying theme of change, Disenchanted feels like a breath of fresh air for Handguns, but it doesn’t come without a few lighthearted songs, either. In the blink of an eye, Handguns go from emotionally heavy and relatable tracks to funny, more lighthearted lyrics, making Disenchanted feel really real, on top of very fun to listen to.
The intro to Disenchanted is the monumental quote from the film Little Miss Sunshine, and it starts the album off on the right foot. Regardless if you’ve seen the movie before or not, this twenty second sound clip is the perfect catalyst for the album, making its overall theme clear as day. Disenchanted is about being frustrated and changing your life, and while that may seem a little negative at first, the album is overwhelmingly positive and honest. This first track (“Self Portrait”) is the perfect snapshot of what to expect from the rest of the album as vocalist Taylor Eby yells, “This is the soundtrack to a movie.”
Disenchanted has a little bit of everything, and that much is obvious just from the first few tracks. Handguns really pull out all of the stops with this release. Following “Self Portrait” is “The Worst In Me,” which hosts some darker lyrical content, and feels very different than anything we've heard from Handguns. The pre-chorus of this track is especially catchy and different, and the chorus is just as strong and memorable. A great singalong track comes a few songs later with “Low Spirits,” which kicks off with a really strong bass line. The whole band carries their weight in this track, as it feels very well balanced. The guitar work serves to supplement the strong leading bassline, the drums serve as a killer backbone, and the lyrics are just as smart and memorable as you’d expect from Handguns. Lines like, “I’m jaded, frustrated and burnt out” are not only relatable, but they flow with ease and make you want to sing along. And then, just when you think Disenchanted couldn’t get any stronger or more emotionally charged, “Bury Me” comes in with the Eby’s passionate line, “Bury me alive.”
As previously mentioned, Disenchanted doesn’t come without a few more lighthearted tracks, and that comes in the form of the one minute long song, “Carbon Copy Elitist.” The funny spoken part in the beginning of the song is something that Handguns fans are used to from their previous releases (see “Early Retirement,” for example) and the lyrics in the remaining forty seconds of the song are some of the more honest lines on the album. The the track leaves you feeling like you’ve caught a glimpse of Handguns’ lives.
The following track, “Disenchanted,” is more on the serious side, but kicks off with a comical beginning. The great thing about this track, and the album as a whole, is that you feel connected to it. Handguns have created a very human and real release with Disenchanted. This album will have listeners both singing and laughing along. Handguns bear their souls on this release, and it’s obvious. They create funny tracks like “Carbon Copy Elitist,” or mess up in the beginning of “Disenchanted” and it’s fun to listen to, then they deliver heartfelt love songs like, “Missed Calls,” about being away on tour, and you really feel the lyrics. Disenchanted is both lighthearted and serious, and the result is an incredibly easy to listen to album, and something that listeners are bound to connect with.
Listen to "Disenchanted"
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