CD REVIEW: The Royal Guard - Hail the King (5 Song Sampler)
by: Cyrus Rhodes
"Muse on Steroids"
- INDIE MUSIC DIGEST-
Artist: The Royal Guard
King (5 Song Sampler)
Genre: Alternative Rock, Psychedelic Rock, Progressive Hard Rock
Sounds Like: Bon Jovi, The Verve, Radiohead, Fall Out Boy, The Killers, The Strokes, Chevelle, Tool
(NEW YORK) The Royal Guard seems to be making all the right moves. After a few months of pre- production, in 2013, The Royal Guard started recording their sophomore effort "Hail The King." These songs are powerful. These are the songs that the band turned to in the tough times they were going through. This is a different band than the one that was on Showdown. "These are songs of Hope" the bands says. "These songs helped us heal, let us blow off steam, and they give us hope. And we feel that they can do the same for others." The new album is produced by Andy and co-produced/engineered by Andrew Gearhart (Matt &Kim/ Micheal Franti/ Young The Giant). "We were able to get an amazing sound in my parent’s house" Gearhart laughs. "This is a homemade album," he continues "but I don't think anyone would be able to tell." Today I am taking a sneak peak at 5 tracks from the new album linked above. The new CD entitled "Hail the King" is scheduled for release in early 2015. The Royal Guard is Todd Davidson (Lead Vocals, Guitar), Andy Ascolese (Guitar, Vocals), Fred Scragg (Drums).
First up Track 1 “I Wanna Know Why” serves up an enticing guitar ridden groove meshed against hypnotic lyrical content, strong melody and impressive harmonies with empowering vocals from Davidson. This intro track sets the tone rather well for a dynamic yet rocking CD like this. Track 2 “Why Can’t We Be Together” keeps it rocking with its in your face tenacity, that continues to build into a passionate yet psychedelic hard-rock statement complete with impassioned vocal presence and a dynamic musical flow. Track 3 “Save Me” serves up yet another superb hard rock groove with thought provoking lyrical content that flows and ebbs its way through to emotional fruition. As these songs slowly unfolded I could hear many musical influences reminiscent of classic The Verve, Radiohead, Fall Out Boy, The Killers, The Strokes and Chevelle to Tool. Sometimes they remind me of Bon Jovi and Muse on steroids. I would classify this music as MElodic Hard Rock, Alternative Rock, with a slight aftertaste of Progressive Hard Rock and trippy Psychedelic ambience that is unpredictable and melodic. The songs themselves are addictive, eccentric, fascinating, and very interesting - all reflections of the band. One can't notice intellectual, passionate and powerful subject matter delivered between the spoken word, with a heavy dose of raw truth and bi-polar vocal emotion. The musicianship from all members are rock solid across the board. Davidson and company showcase rock solid production instants throughout. Besides the 4 piece standard you will also notice things like thick low end beats and rhythms, melodic keyboards and synthesizers, piano, solo guitar, synthetic sound effects and lush harmonies all built upon a thick as a brick rhythm section. Davidson has amazing power, control and intensity throughout. Equally as impressive is the how well this band makes the distinct and strong (singer to listener) vocal connection. Sometimes he reminds me of Jon Bon Jovi. Davidson has an appealing timber and crisp, sharp baritone and takes many impressive vocal risks throughout each song. The songs themselves are reckless, progressive and packed to the hilt with raw intensity and lyrical content straight from the neurotic psyche. Davidson’s vocal style works with respect to this style of music with its stereotypical jagged edge delivery. What I like most about the music is its intensity, intellectualism and consistency. All songs are short and sweet musical experiences, never too winded, never to short. Music is quite dynamic as you never really know what's around the corner. All engineering aspects check out. Music possesses solid low end punch and crystal clear high end clarity. To grooving “Hail the King” to rocking “Going Down” these new songs have something for just about everyone. During my initial research I discovered this band to be a very hot topic live around New York - another big factor to consider when evaluating a band.
These 5 Tracks are impressive enough. If the whole album was like this - it would definitely rate a 10 star review from me.
In close “Hail the King” by The Royal Guard is a highly original, somewhat unpredictable and fascinating musical experience from start to finish. Although it's primarily alt-rock based and Like I said before - you never know what's coming round the corner with this band. The music is fresh and highly entertaining. Its strong suit – its amazing vocal presence and impressive songwriting finesse by this band led by Todd Davidson. The songs are extremely melodic, passionate, and captivating and somewhat dark and unpredictable. All these songs have a ring of truth to them. Each song possesses a unique personality, flair, and signature groove. The Royal Guard are a surging New York based band for many reasons armed with a brilliant perspective an amazing voice to inspire your vivid imagination. Need I say more?