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The Gunshy

There's No Love in This War

(Latest Flame; US: 16 Oct 2007; UK: Available as import)

There’s No Love in This War was inspired and based on 17 letters that Matt Arbogast’s grandfather wrote to his then-girlfriend in the Second World War. However, given the nature of the world—and the universal qualities of these songs—the album could have been written about today’s struggles. The Gunshy title the songs on this effort after the dates in which the letters were written (as well as giving them a second name). On opening number, “May 14, 1943/The Khaki-Whacky Girls”, Arbogast sounds like a cross between Tom Waits and Bob Dylan with this cozy, folksy number. It’s this formula that Arbogast nails repeatedly, especially on the softer but prettier “August 13, 1943/Eddie Was a Good Friend of Mine” and the equally tender “October 28, 1943/Julie, I’m Not Ready To Die”. Things move into a different tone and tempo with the rapid “December 18, 1943” and the memorable gem “December 26, 1943/Humphrey Bogart & His Lady”. Arbogast manages to make each song shine with a rudimentary arrangement during the troubadour-like “June 11, 1944/Pretty in the Red & White Dress” or with a rocky “June 22, 1944/I Shot a Man”. Another keeper is the gorgeous “September 6, 1945/There’s No Love in This War”. Arbogast does what he does best yet again with this charming, thoughtful and reflective album.

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Originally from Cape Breton, MacNeil is currently writing for the Toronto Sun as well as other publications, including All Music Guide, Billboard.com, NME.com, Country Standard Time, Skope Magazine, Chart Magazine, Glide, Ft. Myers Magazine and Celtic Heritage. A graduate of the University of King's College, MacNeil currently resides in Toronto. He has interviewed hundreds of acts ranging from Metallica and AC/DC to Daniel Lanois and Smokey Robinson. MacNeil (modestly referred to as King J to friends), a diehard Philadelphia Flyers fan, has seen the Rolling Stones in a club setting, thereby knowing he will rest in peace at some point down the road. Oh, and he writes for PopMatters.com.


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