Background/Info: Jonas Olofsson & Patrik Hansson set up Vanguard in 2008. Eleven years later they’re unleashing their fourth studio album, which also is the second one on Infacted Recordings. The album got preceded by the “Save Me”-single.
Content: These Swedes remain faithful to their basic influences, which are clearly electro-pop like. Some songs are a bit indie-like while the harder cuts are driven by EBM-orientated bass lines. The music is well-crafted and accomplished with carrying melody lines and great choruses. Most of the songs are power-pop like, but I also noticed a few, softer, but beautiful songs as well. Vanguard has always reminded me a bit of Mesh and I still consider this as a real reference; great music and a talented singer.
+ + + : “Manifest” moves on there where previous albums left off. The influences remain the same-old ones, but the global production reflects a mature and intelligent composition. The songs are characterized by alluring bass lines (pay attention for “Riot”), excellent melodies and transcendental choruses (I especially recommend listening to “Save Me”). The production of the vocals became also better than before. “Manifest” is without a shadow of a doubt the best work from Vanguard!
– – – : It’s maybe something very personal, but I always got the impression they’re too much inspired by Mesh, but is that really a point?
Conclusion: “Manifest” stands for powerful- and mature electro-pop music. This is one of the best electro-pop albums from the past few months!
Best songs: “Riot”, “Hate”, “Save Me”, “Don’t Forsake Me”, “Grit”, “Higher Ground”.