The Swellers - Good for Me (Cover Artwork)

The Swellers

The Swellers: Good for MeGood for Me (2011)
Fueled By Ramen Records

Reviewer Rating: 4
User Rating:

Contributed by: BryneBryne
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It's been a mere 21 months since the Swellers dropped Ups and Downsizing, an album which captured a band finding their voice in spite of rampant lineup changes and what was, at the time, label uncertainty (the group recorded the album on their own, without any sort of backing; Fueled by Ramen became.
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It's been a mere 21 months since the Swellers dropped Ups and Downsizing, an album which captured a band finding their voice in spite of rampant lineup changes and what was, at the time, label uncertainty (the group recorded the album on their own, without any sort of backing; Fueled by Ramen became involved after the fact). It was a sprawling effort, that in which the Swellers effectively progressed their sound while still paying homage to their influences, influences that were far more prevalent (and narrower, one might argue) in their earlier material. There were a handful of legitimately great songs on that record despite all the extenuating circumstances surrounding its conception, and that speaks to the talent of brothers Nick and Jonathan Diener, the driving creative force behind the Swellers who are, lest we forget, still extremely young (Nick is 24; Jono is 22).

Now, less than two years later, we have Good for Me, the Swellers' second FbR release riding on the heels of what's arguably the most stable period of the band's existence. The stability shows. These 10 songs are tight, focused and altogether enjoyable slabs of melodic punk that, while streamlined quite a bit from the band's earlier work, are just so well conceived that it's hard to see it as a regression.

It's clear that the Swellers are aiming to write songs with huge hooks and catchy choruses that will translate well in a live setting. Then again, it's more clear than it may have been on Ups and Downsizing, anyway. Songs like "Runaways", "Inside My Head" and "The Best I Ever Had" don't punch so much as they resonate, and what they lack in technical flashes is easily compensated by their sheer catchiness. A similar career trajectory has been taken by No Use for a Name, a band whose sound became more melodic as the years wore on, and is an obvious influence on Good for Me; in fact, some tracks on the album ("Parkview", "Nothing More to Me") possess the same sort of driving sound that NUfaN used on their mostly enjoyable, unfairly maligned 1999 full-length More Betterness.

As far as new wrinkles go, the Swellers bust out a few on Good for Me with relative success. The downtuned grunge of "On the Line"–and to a lesser extent, "Prime Meridian"–is a welcome departure in which the band incorporate another strong influence (Foo Fighters, or more directly, The Colour and the Shape) while maintaining their own identity in the process. The crunchy, soaring guitar work found in closer "Warming Up" is straight out of the early Weezer playbook, but again, it's executed with enough aplomb to feel like an homage as opposed to a ripoff.

If Ups and Downsizing was the record that put the Swellers on the cusp, Good for Me will in all likelihood be the band's breakout release. The lineup is stable, the songs are there, and it would seem there's nowhere to go but up for the group.


People who liked this also liked:
The Swellers - Ups and DownsizingFrank Turner - England Keep My BonesBanner Pilot - Heart Beats PacificThe Flatliners - CavalcadeThe Wonder Years - Suburbia I've Given You All and Now I'm NothingRed City Radio - The Dangers of Standing StillThe Gaslight Anthem - American SlangPolar Bear Club - Clash Battle Guilt PrideDead To Me - Moscow Penny AnteThe Menzingers - Chamberlain Waits

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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
Kosta011 (March 22, 2012)

i really like this record.

mark-eh (July 26, 2011)

This record is great!

Levendus (July 9, 2011)

Getting a bit 'Rise Againsty'

meaning "Nickelback with a few fast songs here and there"

champyg (July 2, 2011)

Just getting around to giving this a listen. What happened? I've loved everything before this. Ups and Downsizing was a nice blending of their old skate punk style and a more straightforward rock sound. It seems like they took all the bad choices they made with Ups and Downsizing and made a whole album out of them. I feel like I'm listening to a bad Foo Fighters rip off.

alien (June 23, 2011)

I do like it, I do. But I really miss them playing blistering fast.

slymer (June 16, 2011)

This is actually pretty good.

icapped2pac (June 16, 2011)

"Best I Ever Had" and "inside My Head are great songs, but overall I kind of feel like these songs are instantly likeable but eventually forgettable. I think that's the double-edge sword of the direction they're apparently trying to go. That said, I'll still be buying the album and going to their shows.

skeetopunk01 (June 16, 2011)

I've listened to this album quite a few times now. It's great! One of my favorites this year. I'm hoping the new Pulley 7" in rad too.

mattp330 (June 15, 2011)

felt ups and downsizing had some great songs, but some real cheesy moments (stars, do you feel better yet) this one is way more solid.

jacknife737 (June 14, 2011)

A couple good/catchy tracks but overall quite disappointing after Ups and Downsizing.

ROD (June 14, 2011)

Identity crisis in full effect

napalm06 (June 14, 2011)

Steadily declining.

I remember back when they were a punk band for an EP and a few more songs after that.

whoostin (June 14, 2011)


oldpunkerforever (June 14, 2011)


mattramone (June 14, 2011)

This band is shitter than toilet paper after Adam Savage wipes his ass.

mrstylson (June 14, 2011)

Great album and review.

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