GUN – R3L0ADED (Silver Lining Music)

Can it really be 30 years since Gun fired off a debut album that redefined commercial rock north of the border?

Taking On The World did what it said in the tin: this was a band as brave as it was ambitious.

And hit singles Better Days and Shame On You cemented Gun’s reputation long before their version of Cameo’s Word Up crashed the top 10.

All three tracks and more feature on this comprehensive career retrospective.

And in line with the band’s love for a cover, Gun deliver their take on a raft of rock and pop classics.

R3L0ADED is as much about those reinterpretations of songs made famous by The Beastie Boys, The Clash and Hot Chocolate as it is about three decades of original material.

And that’s what sets this edgy release apart from the usual pre-Christmas compilation fare.

Listening to frontman Dante Gizzi do his best impression of Rhianna, Stevie Wonder and Hozier is an absolute joy.

And guitarist Jools Gizzi goes to town beefing up Every 1’s A Winner and Diamonds – evoking fond memories of Gun’s meaty Word Up reboot.

A dire version of Blondie’s Union City Blues aside, it’s a genuine treat poring over some truly inventive takes on tunes ripe for reinvention.

But is there a danger that Gun’s best work will be overlooked?

Not a chance.

The reason? The Gizzi brothers were always more than capable of holding their own as a classy songwriting team alongside former singer Mark Rankin.

And reappraising the superb Inside Out, stunning Steal Your Fire and Taking On The World’s emotive title track reinforces the view that Gun had something very special going on.

They still do.

Rankin might be long gone but blast out Favourite Pleasures – from 2017’s Top 16 album of the same name – and it’s clear there’s plenty of life left yet in Glasgow’s finest.

Still unconvinced?

See for yourself this month as the Gizzi bros. join forces with FM and Dan Reed Network on what promises to be the ultimate pop rock nostalgia trip.

All three bands will be playing every song from their 1989 albums – rotating the order of play each night.

Gun have never been in better shape to take on the world all over again.

And R3L0ADED is the perfect companion piece to what’s set to be an unrivalled night of live rock and roll.