All Out War is the initial track on Showdown, and it captures in 150 seconds the sheer magnitude of where the band will take listeners through the album. Happy is given an additional minute over this beginning cut, and it is this additional time that allows the instrumental side of Royal guard to shine vis-à-vis the inimitable vocals. Yesterday immediately follows the band’s introduction and is vital in establishing Royal Guard as a band that can unite styles previously deemed to be disparate. Showdown shines because of this marriage of rock styles; there are harder edge bits that work perfectly with more introspective and personal arrangements.
I Remember When is a track that is absolutely needed on Showdown. The emotional intensity of the track will fuel on listeners through the second half of the album, while showcasing that Royal Guard has a large selection of tools in their palette. I believe that the inclusion of a second version of Tell Me (placed at the end of the album) will allow listeners to see in the black box that is song arrangement. The two tacks taken by Royal Guard on these versions of Tell Me feel as if they come from two different creative points. The album’s titular track occupies a late-disc slot and further establishes Royal Guard as an act that is cultivating a unique sound that listeners can still appreciate. By building on such a wide array of musical styles, Royal Guard has something for everyone.
Make it a point to check out their website and see where they are playing around you; if their live act showcases even a fraction of what is presented on this disc, the resulting show will be simply fantastic.
Top Tracks: All Out War, Beginning or the End
Royal Guard – Showdown / 2012 Self / 11 Tracks / http://www.theroyalguardband.com/