With the release of their self-titled mini-album, North West rock band Guardians has staked a strong persuasion in looking at them as strong candidates as the next big thing in British alternative rock. The seven track release is an impressive and thrilling release which captivates from start to finish whilst offering infectious melodic flourishes over highly energetic engagements and powerfully striking rock n roll throughout. A treat for the ear, senses, and heart, Guardians is a deeply pleasing encounter to help set British rock music off in the new year in fine style.
From Wallasey in Merseyside, the band formed in 2006 when the members were still at school. Since then they have moved from playing biker clubs at the age of 14 to sharing stages with the likes of Status Quo, The Blackout, The Automatic, and Twenty Twenty, as well as headlining the HUB Festival and finding strong media exposure. The new album is the next step in their increasing rise to wider recognition and one suspect the key to a big year for the band ahead.
After an intro track which makes for a warm melodic welcome the release starts with earnest with An Enemy Of My Enemy. Immediately a heavy senses skirting bass grabs attention alongside firm beats and feisty riffs. As the great vocals of lead guitarist Brad Doné step into view, his and the rhythm guitar of Craig Henderson initially step back before joining up for a catchy and enjoyable chorus section. Into its stride the track is an accomplished and engaging song if slightly underwhelming after reading the comparisons to the likes of Jimmy Eat World, Foo Fighters, and Lost Prophets for the band. It is an enjoyable start though and soon things take an elevated step with the following surge of tracks.
New World Order steps up next with beats bulging and slashing riffs before expanding into a full riot of sound and energy. The vocals of Doné find a coarser edge to their delivery which is fitting within the track and when the rest of the band add their vocals talents the reference to Lost Prophets is like a banner in the sky of the song. For these ears the Welsh band is the closest comparison throughout the release but without stealing from the originality of Guardians and their distinct sound. The bass of Sean McMinn-Davies and drums of Mike Priest again are exceptional within the storm of passionate and intense sound, and the song arguably the biggest of many highlights on the EP.
The rich heart and melodic wash of Follow Your Heart next makes for a captivating companion, a song which took its time to share all of its riches before emerging as an irresistible anthemic joy forged through contagious riffs and hooks alongside kisses of warm keys and emotive grandeur. At this point in the EP no more convincing of band and release is needed to ensure an enthused affection but just to make sure the deliciously grooved dance floor incitement offered by Make It Out Alive sparks further acclaim and ardour the way of the release.
After the short dramatic and emotive instrumental Interlude, the album closes with the mighty Red Eyes. Again heavily Lost Prophets tinged yet distinctively Guardians, the track is an immense slab of metallic sinew and expressive might which is as compelling as it is diverse and imaginative. Unpredictable but fluid in its passage, the song is the perfect parting for a fantastic release and the confirmed placing of the band as an emerging creative force.
Do yourself a big favour and check out Guardians now, though one suspects it will not be long before you will find their impressive sounds and presence everywhere you turn in the world of UK rock anyway.
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