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Cruel Guards [Standard Edition]

New or Used: 2 copies from $4.94
Album: Cruel Guards [Standard Edition]
# Song Title   Time
1)    Get Us Home More Info... 4:16
2)    Ruins More Info... 3:42
3)    Creaks More Info... 4:02
4)    Don't Fight It More Info... 5:01
5)    Feeling Is Gone More Info... 3:23
6)    Cruel Guards More Info... 5:15
7)    Live Without More Info... 4:16
8)    Something In The Garden More Info... 4:57
9)    Confess More Info... 3:59
10)    Sundowner More Info... 5:19
Product Details
Performer Notes
  • The Panics: Jae Laffer (vocals, guitar, harmonica, piano); Jules Douglas (vocals, guitar, piano); Paul Otway (vocals, bass instrument); Miles Wootton (vocals, drum, percussion); Drew Wooton (guitar).
  • Personnel: Naomi Radom (strings); Simon Ferenci (trumpet).
  • Audio Mixer: Victor Van Vugt.
  • Recording information: BJB Studios, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia; Melbourne, Australia; New York, NY.
  • Photographer: Pierre Baroni.
  • The third album from Australian group the Panics garnered them an ARIA (an Australian equivalent to the Grammy) for best adult contemporary album for a reason. The band constantly moves through new territories, defying a simple definition or a simple parallel to another band. However, they do so while maintaining an excellent, intriguing sound. Frontman Jae Laffer gives a husky delivery that swoons just a bit here and there over the top of a layer of guitar and drums, an occasional bit of keyboard inflection, and depending on the song, a bit of classic Motown-style strings (occasionally replaced by a synth version nostalgic for the Motown sound). The album opens with perhaps the most Motown-heavy piece, handclaps and strings triumphantly announcing the group's entrance. The strings are a little less Motown and a little more Coldplay in "Ruins," and bent a little toward Asian pop in "Creaks." Still, the band itself provides a steady, strong backing, and Laffer provides almost a narrative-style delivery, throaty in its timbre, breathy even. The band tells their stories, touching on the grey areas of pop, alluding to U2 in the rhythm guitar for a moment in "Live Without." They touch on darker beach songs in "Confess," they evoke contemporary Bob Dylan recordings in "Sundowner," with an almost weary, dim delivery but a grandiose chorus movement. The album defies a clear definition other than "adult contemporary," but it's attractive, it's catchy, and it's exploratory all at once. Definitely worth a spin or two. ~ Adam Greenberg
Professional Reviews
CMJ - "The first single, 'Don't Fight It,' ebbs and flows with hooky trumpets, simple drum beats and the Panics' knack for writing gut-wrenching lyrics."
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