Guardian - First Watch


This would be Guardian's first release.  Jamie Rowe had not yet joined as lead singer since he was in Tempest.  The vocals are done by Paul Cawley and are of the "nice guy" variety.  The BGV's take a big influence from Stryper, in fact, Oz Fox from Stryper produced the album and they were on the same secular label (Enigma) as Stryper, but Stryper this album is not.  They were even on the Christian label Bensen.  The harmonies are tight and are clearly of the hair-band era.  The music & BGV's are the best features of this album.  Lots of excellent guitar work and guitar solos.  Nothing edgy here, just some safe metal with pretty vocals.  Although the lyrics are very positive and spiritual, they're simplistic and of the "rockin'" 80's style, in other words, back when this was released I'm sure people said the album was "totally awesome" and "rockin'".  Not bad, just not all that good.  Old style Guardian fans were glad to see First Watch re-released a few years ago.  Doesn't really resemble their next release "Fire and Love" at all.  Best songs: "I'll Never Leave You," "Miracle," "Kingdom of Rock," and "The Good Life".  Cheesy song alert: "Saints Battalion".  One side note:  The CD of this release has two additional tracks that are not on the album or cassette.  (Review by Gary)