Guards – In Guards We Trust album review

The term “indie music” gets thrown around a lot, often not in reference to actual independent music, and often by people who don’t actually listen to the music they’re attempting to classify. Alterna-pop three piece Guards, with their psychedelic-influenced stadium rock, would be a prime example – sounding a little like MGMT and a lot like frontman Richie James Follin’s older sister’s band Cults, Guards are on track to be the next radio-friendly “indie” band.

On the surface, In Guards We Trust, the band’s first full-length release, seems to have it all – head-bobbing, toe-tapping songs with epic-y climaxes into massive choruses. The problem, though, is that under the bright, sunny songs and layers of whiney highs and simple instrumentation, In Guards We Trust has about as much depth and substance as a cardboard cutout, a simple two-dimensional representation of a real thing.

The album starts with ‘Nightmare,’ the lyrics completely overwhelmed by reverb. Though the following tracks lighten up a bit, by ‘Ready To Go’ there’s an obvious pattern showing and by ‘Silver Lining’ there’s a distinct feeling of having already heard the song, even on first listen.

It’s hard to identify what’s filler on the album, as all the tracks blend together, creating waves of mediocrity – an opening hook, some washed out verses, the crest of the chorus, and back to step one. Nothing really changes from one track to the next; nothing is notably faster or slower, quieter or louder, and nothing is particularly aggressive or emotional at all.

There are a few moments where Guards almost had something – ‘I Know It’s You’ starts out promising, though it falls in line with the rest shortly after. ‘Your Man’ opens with a notably chunky guitar, but quickly gets swept up in layers of effects. In Guards We Trust ends on somewhat of a low note, with ‘1&1’ getting repetitive long before the track’s end, dragging out an unremarkable album much further than necessary.

It’s not that Guards is a bad band, or that In Guards We Trust is a bad album. It’s fun, for the most part, and fairly catchy, even if nothing in particular stands out. But it’s the not standing out that is the problem: for better or for worse, In Guards We Trust is doomed to fall to the wayside without making much of an impression.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Scroll to Top