Guards - Guards EP
The debut EP from Guards, AKA Richie Follin, is a solid but somewhat schizophrenic affair. Solid as none of the seven tracks on display are shockers in any way, but also schizophrenic as there are two very distinct sides to it. Proceedings kick off firmly in melancholic shoegaze territory with a hint of psychedelia, especially so on 'Sail It Slow' which features the guest vocals of Follin's sister Madeline from Cults, and then there's a very distinct switch into practically indie pop come 'Don't Wake The Dead'. This is by no means a bad switch as some of the strongest tracks reside here, certainly the ones that stick in your head that little bit longer anyway. EP stand-out 'I See It Coming' has a touch of Arcade Fire about it with its jangly guitars, choral chanting and high-pitched male vocals which is certainly not a bad blueprint to aim at. Whether Guards has the potential to garner even a hint of the acclaim lavished upon the Canadians remains to be seen, but the initial signs are certainly promising.