When I saw the Richmond hardcore band Guardrails play with One Step Closer and Soul Blind last year, frontman Jesse “Jetski” Brinkley was rocking auto-mechanic coveralls and a big probably-plastic chain of his band’s logo. He also had a mustache, and he conducted himself like the kind of guy who would stagedive even if a band was playing on a rooftop. Point is: This band knows how to have fun. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t serious. On their Bandcamp page, Guardrails describe their new record If You Please as “a concept EP about the personal and worldly struggles of mental health, suicide, & anger management.”
Guardrails have a tough, direct take on hardcore punk. They don’t break any molds, bu they play with serious passion and energy. If You Please has an absolutely disgusting guitar tone, some deeply nasty riffs, a whole lot of speed, and a few interstitial moments that seem designed to confuse. The whole thing is over in 11 minutes, and it kicks a lot of ass. Stream it below.
The self-released If You Please is out now, and you can get it at Bandcamp.