Last year, in July 10, 2010 to be exact, a new retro gem was released to the world’s enjoyment by a band named Guards, through their Guards – EP. This New York based band presented to the world their 70’s sound tangled into a 2010 context, still building a nice shelter surrounded by trees and people dressed with bell-bottom pants, soft dance and long summer Sundays with the family or loved ones.
There’s texture, there’s a dreamy and electric atmosphere and notes that will give you wings, if you just let yourself loose.
Guards-EP includes 7 tracks, no order established as the auditory rollercoaster may be slowed down with dark and heavy time signatures, giving a deeper self-introspection feeling, complex structures and layers made of electric high-pitched guitars, keyboards giving away old-school sounds, drums that even when powerful, sound winged and light, all wrapped in reverb, the one that can make you think you are time travelling and the distant sounds produced are just the distant echoes of a decade you can’t belong to.
Dreamy and dark atmospheres, then joy stressed by keyboards floating in the air again being this the great distinctive element of this band; even when keyboards may be the background of a song, they actually happen to be the lead of the other instruments in the band that, instead of imposing their ‘will’ over keyboards, they follow and complement that texture of yesterday, delivering then a complete sonic trip that would distort a picture of the most firm fact in the world.
Vocals are always surrounded by reverb, both main and chorus, providing that cyclic experience and the reason why somewhat everything is revisited at some point or history, or rather repeated.
This is a portrait of a decade filled with brilliant colors, a time were a connection of the self with the universe was on the top of the to-do list, where analog was the general sound, where good and evil met one or several of their most significant moments and clashed to bring to the world part of what we currently are. Guards gives a good description through their music of these happenings while making innocent, dark sounds, or even giving a picture of dissatisfaction through their lyrics and notes. It’s not an easy task that of permeating your music with your words, feelings and thoughts, even when it’s somewhat implied.
This time, Guards is high-pitched songs with two structures in general joined by transitions that accentuate the first idea of the song, but slowly integrate new elements until the first part, and without noticing, is completely consumed.
It is important to recall as well that two songs feature special contributions by Cults (‘Sail it Slow’), and Caroline Polachek (‘Trophy Queen’), who’s also a key member of New York band Chairlift.
New York definitely becomes a melting pot that not only mixes styles and cultures, but also decades of times and dreams, like encapsulating memories and translating them into music.