Saturday, 13 December 2008

CD Review: The Vanguards - Regress / Hey You / If Only


fter giving the three songs on this latest CD from The Vanguards, formerly known as Twem, a good listen, it is obvious to me that without a doubt this band possesses the songwriting skills to take them a long way, not to mention the excellent musicianship.

First track 'Regress' is a bright, uplifting song with beautifully ringing chords, well-structured solo, and some great vocals. It also made me want to listen to it again after the first hearing, as did the other two tracks, 'Hey You' and 'If Only'; the former featuring some gripping incidental drumming from Tom Bishop. The cohesion between he and the rest of the members, main vocalist Thom Twemlow and Richie Hearn on guitars and bassist Joey Jennings is extraordinary. The band sound like they have been playing together for years, when in fact they begun in their current form only earlier this year.

Overall, they put me vaguely in mind of an updated and more upbeat Crosby, Stills and Nash; that summery West Coast sound broken down to it's component parts, reformed, reworked and presented all shiny and new, but still retaining that slight but vital raw edge.

Working with well-respected producers Dave Tolan and Jim Spencer, a duo who have collaborated with such names as Primal Scream, The Charlatans and Tears for Fears, the Vanguards have forged a fresh, vibrant sound that they can truly call their own.

I am informed that the band is currently working on another four tracks, with a debut single planned for March, a follow-up single in May and a debut album scheduled for release in the Summer of 2009. A busy outfit indeed.

The band is currently unsigned and looking for opportunities at live dates, festivals and gigs generally. Further information is available from the band itself, or Louise Minter @ Blurb PR 020 7419 1221.

Listen: The Vanguards

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