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If life hasn’t thrown you a few curveballs over the years, then clearly you ain’t doing things right. After all, who wants to tread the straight and narrow route down the path of tedious predictability when a few diversions here and there can liven things up?

And if any band knows a thing or two about curveballs – and, more crucially, how to knock ‘em out of the park – then it’s Glasgow’s favourite hard rockers GUN. Hit albums and singles, break-ups, line-up changes… GUN have done them all and more, and at each turn have come back stronger and better than before.

Favourite Pleasures is GUN’s seventh studio album. Standing proudly with the very best of their work, and it’s one informed by a combination of a back-to-basics approach tempered by an innate melodic sensibility, mastering the domain of their own Morse Code studios in Paisley, and knowing how to deal with those curveballs that keep flying from all directions.

“We wanted to go back to our rockier roots and I think we’ve achieved that,” says frontman Dante Gizzi. “GUN will always have tons of melody – over the years that’s been instilled in us and it’s what we love and we love playing those songs live – but I think with this one, we’ve become tougher.”

And Dante is quick to offer credit where it’s due.

“The introduction of new guitarist Tommy Gentry has added so much more to the band and to the sound, and it’s a welcome change,” he says. “This is the toughest album we’ve done in a while. It’s up there with Swagger and Taking On The World”

Favourite Pleasures is an album that dances on a knife-edge and one that can turn on the flip of a coin. On the one side is the raw pain of emotions hitting the rocks, while the other is a celebration of hedonism.

“I found the lyric writing process tougher this time because I was going through a break-up with my partner,” admits Gizzi. “But no matter what, that still comes out in how you write, and how you feel and how you want to express yourself and it’s a natural process. Some of the songs are angry and heartfelt and I could’ve steered clear of that but I wanted to express how I feel, and that comes across.”

Not that Favourite Pleasures should be seen as a heartache album; far from it – it’s about hitting those curveballs and turning them into total winners. Be it the groove monster that is ‘Favourite Pleasures’, pile-driving opener ‘She Knows’ and infectious glam-stomping of ‘Here’s Where I Am’, this is the GUN you know and love. 

But there’s so much more. The naked honesty of ‘The Boy Who Fooled The World’ is a little-seen look at another side of GUN as they go back to a time of innocence and dreams, hungry to break out and seize the world. They don’t hold back and neither will you. All in all, this is GUN blending all of their melodic skills with hook-laden riffs and moments of reflection to ensure an album of filler-free killers.

And as for those favourite pleasures? As told by Dante, there’s a glint of mischief in his eye.

“The title was inspired by a friend of ours who was into S&M, big time, and it was a side of him that not many people knew about,” confides Dante. “He’d go on tour working with us, and whatever his weekly per diem was, it would be spent in a day on hookers and sex shows the moment we hit Amsterdam and Hamburg and all those places.” 

Dante quickly adds: “Those were his favourite pleasures and mine are a lot different from that.”

Such as? 

“Good food and watching Celtic will do me fine!” comes the emphatic reply.

But whatever the inspiration, GUN are now itching to share Favourite Pleasures and so much more when they take it out on the road.

“These songs mean so much to us and now that they’re ready, we can’t wait for people to hear them and see them being played live, and to prove how we feel about this album,” asserts Dante. “And of course, we’ll be playing all the hit singles but these are songs that stand up with those.”

He’s not wrong. Across the album’s ten tracks are songs that encompass all that’s good and great about GUN – melodies, instantly memorable riffs, and an unabashed and unrestrained desire to rock out. These are their real Favourite Pleasures – just as much as they are yours.