FRONTIER GUARDS: Battleground CD Unguided Tactical Sounds
Sibling Moscow bases label, ‘Unguided Tactical Sounds’ has started off their release schedule well on the quality stakes; and this is none more so evident than on the latest album by Frontier Guards. Packaged in a six panel DVD sized Digipak and including some additional data files as well as the full album, this is certainly provides more value for your buck.
As far as the music goes, I was hoping for a massive step up. I wasn’t so keen on previous output, such as ‘Interface’ released in partnership by Signifier and Aliens Productions; with FG sat in a quagmire of derivative electro-industrial nothingness. Luckily this time around, the technicality has been stepped up a notch in the programming stakes and the end result is altogether more engaging.
A barrage of sampling has been used to good effect here, capitalising on a good ear for Sci-Fi soundtrack sensibilities that detract from the usual 4/4 noise terror structures. By the time the second track ‘Another Sun’ kicks in, there is genuine flow and movement to the release that carries the listener with a surge in positive momentum.
There is the argument that the samples on offer are far too formulaic; and relying on a variety of well-known film sources has been done to death. There is of course a weight to that notion, but in this case it works well; and the overall results add a pleasing familiarity to the proceedings.
Of course, by no means are Frontier Guards going to set the world on fire in the originality stakes; and I am sure they never will. However, with ‘Battleground’ this trio have produced an album that is easy on the ear, enjoyable to listen to and ticks a lot of boxes in production values.
With it’s fair share of stand out moments, FG come across better when they leave vocals out of the equation and in this case there is a healthy balance between the two; meaning there was more for me to latch on to this time around (even though it will never be my bag personally) and still enough on the menu for older fans alike, who should lap up this limited release with gusto.