Celebration Guns is preoccupied with time. It’s clear in the titles of their last two releases–2020’s On Aging Gracelessly and 2021’s The Visiting Years–and in their song titles: “Something About Hindsight in 2020,” “Old Man Yells at Cloud,” “Better Days,” “The Me That Used to Be.” The idea of a focus on time, the passing and wasting of it, isn’t anything new for an emo band. But the members of Celebration Guns aren’t teenagers pining for the good times with their ex, they’re all in their 30s, and they’ve been doing this for over a decade.
So when the words, “Can I repent for wasted years?” are choked out over a sparkling math riff, you know they mean it. There are any number of bands out there who want to be the next Algernon, the next Snowing, the next Hightide Hotel–and a lot of them rock. Celebration Guns isn’t doing that. They’re just trying to make the music they want to make. There are elements they share with bands like those, though, the bright and jaunty leads, the sticky pop-rock hooks, the wild time signatures. When it comes from Celebration Guns, it just sounds more real, somehow. Call it aging gracefully.