Guardian Singles hail from Auckland, New Zealand, and their self-titled debut was sadly overlooked last year with its small local indie release from Moral Support Records. Well, thanks to Trouble In Mind Records their excellent post-punk mover has now received a world wide release. The band was actually formed back in 2015, by Thom Burton on guitar (SoccerPractise, Moppy) and Fiona Campbell on drums (Vivian Girls, Coolies), as the group raked in plenty of local hype and was supported touring bands in New Zealand. With the addition of Yolanda Fagan on bass (Na Noise, Echo Ohs) and Durham Fenwick on lead guitar (Green Grove), they solidified the current lineup in late-2018.
It is hard to believe this record was kept under the pandemic hold last year as Guardian Singles has a veteran sounding post-punk pulse to it that kicks off with the anathematic opening track “Tea Lights Exploding.” Its really hard not to get behind the guitar lines and message as the song puts a middle finger up to social issues plus is just catchy as hell. This brooding approach carries throughout the record with really tight song structures and vocal deliveries from Burton that highlight the sound of 80’s greats like Echo and the Bunnymen and Joy Division. The band even does a fantastic cover of “Heartland” which is from another 80’s group, The Sound, that is spot on.
What makes this debut so moving is that even though Guardian Singles have a classic post-punk sound the overall vibe of the record is very modern with an energy of a Protomartyr or CLAMM. The moving bass lines on the last tracks, “Gold Plated Cars” and “Midnight Swim,” are more prominent just like the drumming that opens “Never Going To See The Rain Again” which puts a spotlight on how each member is apart of the band’s tight and complex song structures. The best part of Guardian Singles is that this record is very timeless. Their music has no boundaries and you can just feel the compressed energy their music contains as each tempo turn has the potential to explode. Looking forward to seeing where Guardian Singles go next as they now have been introduced to the world!
Key Tracks: “Tea Lights Exploding” / “Never Going To See The Rain Again” / “Can’t Stop Moving”
Artists With Similar Fire: Mission Of Burma / Protomartyr / Eddy Current Suppression Ring
-Reviewed by Thomas Wilde