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Listen to the Brooding Post-Punk Ballads and Industrialized Synths of UK Outfit History of Guns’ “Half Light” LP

Del Alien, the punk-turned-goth rebel, is always digging for the truth and the mysteries behind the mysteries. Then there’s Max Rael, a guy who fell in love with using music to build his own universe, escaping reality one track at a time. Max’s obsession with music started young, hopping between genres until Britpop’s downfall led him straight into trance.

Their band, History of Guns, was a major force in the UK’s underground industrial scene in the 2000s, drawing inspiration from heavyweights like Killing Joke, PWEI, Bauhaus, Coil, Joy Division, Sisters of Mercy, Nine Inch Nails, and Swans. They also hit iconic spots like Whitby Gothic Weekend and headed up Futurepunk and Back to the Futurepunk events.

Half Light, their latest LP, is a wild mix of anti-authority vibes and musical escapism, perfect for those who live for the underground. The sense of refuge we experience mirrors our craving for transformation; it’s the universal balance between our drive to create something unique and our commitment to making it happen. Blending spoken word poetry with bizarre cyberpunk vibes, this collection of songs is both deeply disarming and introspective.

Half Light is a sophisticated and refined exploration of humanity and its foibles; a convergence where industrial sounds meets the avant-garde and the psychedelic. For the History of Guns, it’s a new chapter, one to be enjoyed with a sense of wonder and reflection. Fans of Alien Sex Fiend, Cabaret Voltaire, Nitzer Ebb, Coil, Nine Inch Nails, Deathboy, The Prodigy, and LCD Soundsystem will find kindred spirits in this duo.

“I think most people know of either a moment, or something sadly longer, when you’re on your own, and no one knows where you are, how you are, or even if you’re alive or dead,” says Rael of When You Don’t Matter. “I think this like a History Of Guns version of a ballad, for abandonment. But whenever we have something we think is beautiful, we always have to smash it up somehow. From an existential point of view it might be true, maybe we don’t matter.  We are meaning-seeking creatures in a world with no objective meaning. Ultimately we have to find a way to make ourselves matter to ourselves.”

“It’s like the vain attempt to help people,” Del Alien adds. “Maybe they know it, maybe they don’t. It’s not a personal thing is it? Is this what society has done to us? Is it worth you thinking about? Getting cold in a box just to be burned and scattered to the wind, only to end up in the mouth of a dying junkie… or like sleeping with the sanest lunatic you ever met, but there’s no one there in the morning to make you breakfast. If the product is not good from the start, how can it be in the end?  Losing the place you stand, just to hold another’s hand.”

This balance is evident in the harmonious flow and resolution of the album, captured in tracks like No Longer Earthbound, All You Dream (You Can Never Have), and When You Don’t Matter. Our universal truths are unveiled in Drug Castle, Arcadia, and An Invitation, revealing a place of calm and wisdom in the twilights of our souls.

Listen to Half Light below and order the album here.

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Alice Teeple

Alice Teeple is a photographer, multidisciplinary artist, and writer. She is not in Tin Machine.

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