Thursday, March 10, 2016

Swerve -EP: Review

The moment I saw that Swerve had out their début EP on-line for pre-order I ordered it. For a long time I have been sure that Swerve are one of the best bands to come out of the Birmingham scene, I was happy to see that they'd not split up and bought it to support them. The 4 new tracks have been issued in a beautiful 12" Vinyl package.  The sleeve shows a sleazy, 1970's/ 80's street covered in neon lights. The best part is the disc itself, Swerve's Début has been pressed onto a slab of translucent blood red vinyl. It's a beauty to behold and one seriously sexy thing to to own. Considering that their demo was a CD placed a blank piece of card with a swirl drawn on it in highlighter, it's fitting that the music itself shows as much of a development as the format itself. This EP is a bit more mellow but also a bit darker than the previous releases. Their early demo's seemed to have nods to the classic grunge of Nirvana and rock n' roll of early Guns N' Roses. 'Afterglow' sets the scene with it's deep, echoey vocals and jangly guitars. It proves that they've got a melodic nous that their peers lack, but is a bit darker than I've come to expect from the band who once filled a whole set with Weezer covers, and introduced themselves with a pitch perfect KISS impression. 'Blue Sunset' is a bit more upbeat. It's got a touch of the lazily fucked up swagger that The Rolling Stones perfected on 'Exile in Main St', and a damn fine guitar solo to boot. 'Regress' is lush and shoegazy. Mike Ball's vocals are deep and buried in the mix. Like much of the EP his lyrics are poetic yet regretful. There is a poignancy to lyrics such as 'Forever in debt to the chemistry, fade with a smile into synthetic harmony'. The lush yet rather lo-Fi production on some of these songs reminds me of what DIIV have been putting out lately. 'Daydream' finishes off the EP and like the other tracks is it mixes, melodic guitar lines, skittish drums, jangyly riffs and poetic lyrics. It'll builds to a huge climax and Mike Ball screaming 'The Truth is a burden I can't bear'. This is a very different EP to what I was expecting. Swerve are developing their sounds and making it clear that they're not just another band of 90's loving grunge wannabees. It's their first official release, but this EP feels like a bold step forward.

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