Safeguard: Severance – Track Review

The latest single from York’s exciting up-and-coming quintet shows maturity and depth on a whole new level.

Severance, which was released in December 2018, is the newest addition to the impressive growing repertoire of Safeguard.

The band, who describe themselves as emo/ pop-punk, had released two EPs before Severance, both of which sat more confidently as pop-punk than emo. Severance, however, represents a slight departure from this.

Slowing it down

With a slower tempo, Severance clocks in at just under 4 minutes, which is lengthy compared to other entries in the band’s catalogue.

The choruses are full of power and contrast with the verses, which have intricate and elegant guitar lines. The second verse is the highlight of the track for me, with delicately pristine guitar and spoken rather than sang vocals, building to another round of that powerful chorus.

The vocals

Lead singer, Declan Gough’s vocals dominate Severance, and exemplify the greater maturity the band have found, turning vulnerability into raw intensity and power.

The lyrics, which are full of reflection, introspection and existential fear, employ some well-established pop-punk and emo tropes which are more than comfortable with the rest of the track.

Crystal clear

The production on this track takes it up a level from their previous work. Perfectly balanced and naturally dynamic, certain elements of the track – the second verse for example – could have suffered by sounding cluttered. Conversely, everything’s where it should be and it sounds all the better for it.

Hard not to like

This is a really exciting and endearing release from a band showing a lot of promise. Severance is mature and self-aware and hints at the evolution of an already-exciting band. For the first time in this blog’s short life, I’m unable to find a criticism. I can’t wait for more.

Verdict: A

Listen here:

 

 

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