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Cruel Guards (Bonus Track Version)

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Customer Reviews

Warning - more tracks on the other version

With each new album The Panics’ sound has been getting better and better. Familiar keyboard and guitar melodies of their earlier work have progressively been added to and rounded out with tighter production, more fun percussion – think catchy hand claps - and now a fuller orchestrated sound. Their 2005 album “Sleeps like a Curse” set a new standard and “Cruel Guards” doesn’t disappoint – although you may need to give the album a couple of listens to fully appreciate what is going on. The guys seem to have hit their stride and the mood of the album is of a band that knows where they are going and are confident in their ability to deliver a great sound. The album opens with “Get us Home” – a dramatic drum roll and signature hand clapping beats moves into a full string section sound and then the lyrics drop you in the middle of an unfolding drama – I defy anyone not to be humming along by the end of the song. The title song “Cruel Guards” starts with clear piano chords, guitar and vocals and then the harmonica and strings kick in. The song finishes strongly with haunting repetitions of the melody. The other songs continue the new sound – strong beats and melody; simple, yet thought provoking lyrics. All ten tracks are worthy additions to The Panics’ stable. “Live without”, “Ruins” and “Creaks” are all stand out tracks. There are an additional 5 songs on the other version of this album on iTunes - this version only has one extra track - a banjo mix of Sundowner. (The five extra tracks are on a bonus CD called 'Join the Dots' included in the physical CD). The extra songs on the other version are covers: ‘Lazyitis’ from the Happy Monday’s, ‘One too many mornings’ and ‘Just like a Woman’ from Bob Dylan, ‘Factory Girl’ from The Rolling Stones and ‘Who by Fire’ by Leonard Cohen.

This album is outstanding

Cruel Guards is a spectacular album, which this year took out the J award (well deserved). Tracks such as "Don't Fight It" is a great example of the work that this band is producing. Mellow, honest but with a big sound that builds. Definatley reccomend this album!

Best Australian Release of 2007

The Panics have taken the best elements of their first two albums and built a document that will linger in the mind long after the closing bars. I have been listening to this album since its release and it still sounds amazing. This time the band have combined the summery pop that dominated the first album, "A House..." and the moody psychadelic soundscapes of their incredible sophmore release "Sleeps Like A Curse" and given them new depth with lavish string and horn arrangements as well as hip-hop drum loops. The opener, "Get Us Home" is simply breathtaking. "Creaks" has a killer guitar riff, fantastic harmonies and gloomy lyrics set against uplifting melodies (a hallmark of one of their inspirations, The Go-Betweens). The title track is sinister and dark and "Sundowner" builds on the psychadelic wild-west vibe that they have sometimes created. The hallmark of this album and the song on which could see the band movie out of cult status, is "Don't Fight It." It is everything you love about The Panics but also shows the evolution of their sound. The last bars of the song will float like a dream. This is a fantastic follow-up to an excellent album. No Australian band is making music like this at the moment.


Formed: Perth, Australia

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s

An Australian rock band that was formed while its members were still in school, the Panics released their first EP (a self-titled affair) in 2002. Two more EP releases followed before the band was invited to perform in the U.K. that same year. Signed to LittleBIGMAN Records, the Panics (Julian Douglas, keyboards, guitars, and vocals; Jae Laffer, vocals and guitar; Paul Otway, bass; Drew Wooten, guitar; and Myles Wooten, drums) recorded their debut album in Manchester and Australia. The ensuing work,...
Full Bio
Cruel Guards (Bonus Track Version), The Panics
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