It’s baffling as to why a band would release an album at the fag end of a year; the last week of any year is the time nobody takes anything seriously because everybody wants to party. When the year turns new, the offering gets lumped with ‘last year’s releases’ and isn’t fresh anymore. Vanguard, as a result, has got hardly any exposure despite being an impressive debut from Providence.
Attitude is the name of the game here; the music has a no-nonsense approach which is maintained throughout, and the band sounds pissed-off enough to assault anyone in sight. To my relief, the lyrics seem to deal with interpersonal conflict and the turmoil within; an outpouring of grief and anger in the form of broken or incomplete sentences roared with spite and despair. It’ll be great if the band continues and grows with this style, because socially-relevant nonsense goes straight to the recycle bin, and even if the band is at any point going anti-establishment, the vagueness of it all works in their favour. In any case, the singing is stern as hell, can’t be taken lightly and is powered ably by the music.
Providence don’t seem to care about sounding overly technical or intricate and throw four interesting groove-packed songs and an instrumental that connects instantly and ends too soon. The songs – all of them – hit high points and end before the grooves get familiar, thus keeping Vanguard fresh as new even after several plays.
Vanguard doesn’t come across as an attempt to be profound; it seeks to engage the listener with short, rapid bursts of one-dimensional rage, and that’s the fun of it: a band no longer able to withhold their stronger emotions found at their starting point. The songwriting is bound to get more elaborate and sophisticated with future releases; here’s hoping Providence remain as stoic with their streamlined hate.