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Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Royal Guard - Showdown

The Royal Guard - Showdown
2009, Todd Davidson/BMI

Fans of Fall Out Boy and 30 Seconds To Mars take heed; there's a new band on the block playing on the same playground. The Royal Guard (Todd Davidson - vocals/guitar; Andy Ascolese - guitar/vocals and Fred Scragg - drums) released their debut CD, Showdown, late in 2009, documenting the sound the band had developed over a couple of years of steady gigging. Blending pop, punk and rock, The Royal Guard creates in a consistently inconsistent realm where sonic trends break upon one another.

Showdown opens with "All Out War", a pop/punk anthem about a war over the minds and souls of the young. The song could have theological implications or may just be a post-modern song of self-actualization. "Happy" is a solid active-rock love song. Built on a strong hook in a radio-ready chorus, The Royal Guard keeps the alt-punk energy intact in a love song without getting gooey. "Yesterday" shows off The Royal Guard's retro proclivities, working in a harmonic guitar solo reminiscent of Brian May.

As if so much patent creativity could tire a band, The Royal Guard fall into a lull of formulaic pop/punk spiked with the occasional impressive guitar work. The tide turns with "Satellite", a dynamic pop/rock tune with a memorable chorus and a driving guitar riff. You could picture "Satellite" being the song that takes off for The Royal Guard. "Beginning Of The End" has the pop sensibility to be a mild radio presence, but seems more likely for the licensing realm.

Showdown is ultimately a 50/50 affair, with about half the album proving to have a creative spark worth catching onto, with the rest sounding a bit too much like too many other things already on the radio. The Royal Guard's debut is a solid commercial and musical effort, but listeners may sense greater potential in what might turn out to be a sleeping giant of a band. While Showdown is worth checking out, The Royal Guard may be a good band to follow longer term. Once they shake off their need to be commercial they might start creative some truly amazing music.

Rating: 3.5 Stars (Out of 5)

Learn more about The Royal Guard at or is available from as either a CD or Download.  The album is also available via iTunes.

1 comment:

site said...

Well, I do not really believe this will have success.