The meteoric rise of the UK pop-punk scene has been impressive. Since Neck Deep were snapped up, all eyes turned to our nation to produce more talent. Bands such as ROAM, Trash Boat and As It Is have all come up through the scene in the last couple of years, with Coast to Coast, Catch Fire and Better Than Never being the talent just waiting to take off. Now, it’s the turn of Safeguard to show what they’ve got.
Having recently signed to Wilhelm Records, York’s Safeguard present their second EP ‘I’m a Stranger to Myself’. This three and a half song affair clings tightly to its influences but doesn’t add anything to the formula. In fact, ‘Harbour’ sounds so much like a ROAM song in parts, it was hard to believe it didn’t have a feature from Alex Costello.
Despite not having anything particularly interesting to offer musically, where ‘I’m a Stranger to Myself’ shines is in its lyrics. There’s some interesting imagery at play in ‘November’ and shows the quintet hinting at a potential emo side, all while still being rooted in that stereotypical pop-punk idealism. There’s no doubt that this has been done before, but Safeguard manage to pull it off expertly, which is no small feat for such a young band.
Within a few years, there’s no doubt that Safeguard could be a stalwart of the UK scene. In just the space of 12 months since forming, they’ve produced two EPs, with a huge step in quality and maturity between them. With a couple more songs on this release they could have explored their sound more, especially with ‘No Man’s Land’ acting as a great pace breaker preventing the usual drab onslaught of bouncy pop-punk.
Though they’re by no means reinventing the wheel, Safeguard show they have a lot of promise and some great ideas with ‘I’m a Stranger to Myself’. It’d just be nice to hear them to full effect on a longer release.
‘I’m a Stranger to Myself’ EP by Safeguard is out now on Wilhelm Recordings.
Words by Ben Mills (@BenMills28)