Written by Devonie Baker
Mar 19, 2005 at 02:00 PM
ImageAUSTIN – In a word, the Just Guns sound could probably be described as indie-pop-alt-country-rock, or something similar, maybe in a different order, but still severely hyphenated. Being cursed with too many adjectives is certainly a good thing when it comes to attempting to pigeonhole a band, and clearly something Just Guns might have to adjust to, at least until the phrase “musical mélange” becomes acceptable, and I really do not see that coming to pass anytime soon.Austin’s Just Guns original lineup slightly changed last year, but the band is certainly no worse for wear, as they’re chock-full of emotive singer/songwriters and multi-instrumentalists contributing to their distinctive country shade of pop. The band, born in 2002, was started by George Irwin and Topher Hylink, and they eventually recruited Brian Reed (Pocket Symphonies) on drums, and Phil “Alarmo” McJunkins (King Coal, Speedy Colt, Mando Saenz) on pedal steel, helping round out their heartfelt, energetic sound.

Just Guns played a spirited set to a packed house at Ego’s, during the SXSW day-show hubbub in Austin on March 19th, along with The Lemurs, The Stepbrothers, Adeline, San Saba County and Loxly. The band also had available, for the first time since it’s pressing, their debut EP, Debutante. A perfect forerunner to the full-length record they are set to begin recording this spring.

Their Ego’s SXSW set was tight and fluently enthusiastic, and included songs featured on their new EP as well as some newer songs that should show up on their first full-length. Being a guitar-driven band, Just Guns may prefer to set hyphens aside and simply consider themselves a “rock” band, but the pedal-steel sound really creates a sweet ambience that highlights the splendid songwriting, which truly sets Just Guns apart from anything easily tagged with long, hyphenated labels.

For some tasty mp3 samples of their music, go visit the Just Guns website at http://justguns.info/ And their EP is just $6 bucks (that includes postage/shipping). That works out to about a dollar a hyphen, right?