Old friends, new kicks. That is one way to describe Akron, OH's En Garde. Formed in November of 2011 by Ross Horvath (vocals/guitar) and Andy Hendricks (drums), En Garde's two-piece minimalism was a new approach of writing for both Hendricks and Horvath after having spent time in longtime passion project Annabel and A Voice Like Rhetoric respectively. Locking in together to produce tight angular foreground momentums and layered negative spaces allowed En Garde to create compositions that are engaging and interesting.
Now, it's kinda weird to talk about a premiere when you are referring to songs that were tracked nine years ago. But that's the story of En Garde and their debut EP, 'Debtors,' recorded back in the summer of 2012 in Philadelphia, PA at Headroom Studios with Joe Reinhart (Algernon Cadwallader, Hop Along). A few years later and a few states apart, we are very happy to premiere 'Debtors' (out this Friday on Count Your Lucky Stars
) in its entirety along with a track-by-track courtesy of Horvath.
Track-by-track by Ross Horvath (vocals/guitar):
Our Hands is a dilemma. What’s logical or makes sense on paper isn’t always what we’re champing at the bit for. Ideas push and pull and decisions can be conflicting. It becomes tempting to fabricate and tailor solutions to fit molds. It all can come with costs and sometimes course correction is necessary. Finding direction may take time. Go at your own pace, mend when needed.
The right choice and the easy choice are rarely the same thing. Cri de Cœur takes place amongst several of these examinations in juxtaposition to varying degrees of exit strategy. None of them quite ideal. Our susceptibility to disappointment grows with deeper investment but our familiarity can uniquely distort risk. Ultimately the only thing we can guarantee anyone else is that we will, hopefully unintentionally, disappoint them sooner or later. The title “Debtors” is threaded by all of these tracks but possibly Cri de Cœur is heaviest in its blend.
Self Poortraits balances between consciously and unconsciously creating illusions for ourselves. It’s easy to get lost in what version of ourselves we’ve created when we’re around others, especially when it can sometimes be an unintentional coping mechanism. Learning how to catch that has been a worthwhile observation and something that I’m still working on. The best versions of ourselves are usually the most authentic and sincere. Cheerleaders, not shit talkers. If people don’t like that, fuck em’.
If you’ve ever found yourself at any point within the spectrum of mental health illness/depression you know the lies and complete fiction you can easily start to echo and believe about yourself or your worth. Edentulism is an attempt to cast a wide net around these fabrications and also remind myself that we can never quite know what someone else is going through. It serves as a bit of a personal mantra for small acts of kindness, even though I’m usually failing at it.
Sometimes instability seems to only be a concern when systems have already started to fail. Tightropes is the struggle between ownership, distraction and disregard. Ultimately we may be forced to hope for the best but prepare for the worst wherever apathy is the most commonly traded currency.