UK pop-punk band Safeguard released their latest EP "I'm A Stranger to Myself" via Wilhelm Records this past Friday. If you haven't given it a listen yes and are wondering if you should, here's what we think of the band's latest piece.
The EP starts out with Crux, a dramatic instrumental track that serves as the intro for the following tracks. Crux is a bold track that, unlike many intro tracks I've previously encountered, loses nothing from its lack of lyrics
Crux then flows into the next track, Harbour, you're met with both a head banging and brutally honest song about the arduous journey to reach a certain point in your life, only to fail and be met with the realization that because of the effort already put in to reaching that point, you've made it harder for yourself to get back there. Featuring a quick tempo and heavy riffs, accompanied by raw, emotional lyrics, Harbour is a fast favorite of many fans. Contrary to the darker lyrics, the overall sound is effortless and ebullient before entering into a haunting and captivating bridge.
What would music be without love songs? "I'm a Stranger to Myself" takes a beat to slow down with November, a tender and poetic ballad focused on that familiar feeling of isolation and alienation dissolving upon the experience of love at first sight. The lyrics paint a picture of being physically present at a party, but mentally checking out wishing to be anywhere else. However, the choking vapidity lessens when the girl arrives. November begins with a faster pace, although not up to the tempo of Harbour, and slows as it progresses.
Then, the finale, No Man's Land, brings to life the seemingly endless loneliness and questioning following the end of a relationship. It describes the reality of sitting on the couch, drinking along in front of the TV, wondering what that person is doing at this very moment. It focuses on the self-doubt and emptiness in a more paced and melodic manner. No Man's Land is not only the slowest song on the EP, but also the most emotionally charged.
Safeguard has produced some amazing songs in "I'm a Stranger to Myself" and a new song for me to keep on repeat. Overall, the tracks are well composed so as to make the intense emotions faced the focal point of their music. Contrary to many other pop-punk bands I've heard, Safeguard does an excellent job at not over-doing it with the instrumentals and drowning out the lyrics - allowing the music to speak for itself. If you haven't heard "I'm a Stranger to Myself" yet, give it a listen here and check out their music video for Harbour below.