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Swearin' - Surfing Strange (Cover Artwork)

Swearin'

Swearin': Surfing StrangeSurfing Strange (2013)
Salinas Records

Reviewer Rating: 3.5
User Rating:


Contributed by: Rich27Rich27
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For those requiring a brief history lesson to set the scene for this review, once upon a time there was a band called P.S. Eliot, started by the Crutchfield sisters, Katie and Allison, and that band produced some great pop/rock-tinged indie tunes in the time they were together. Once they disbanded, .
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For those requiring a brief history lesson to set the scene for this review, once upon a time there was a band called P.S. Eliot, started by the Crutchfield sisters, Katie and Allison, and that band produced some great pop/rock-tinged indie tunes in the time they were together. Once they disbanded, Katie went on to form Waxahatchee whilst Allison ended up as one quarter of the personnel responsible for Swearin' - for the record, both bands also include Keith Spencer on bass. In some ways both outfits are similar, featuring as they do a rudimentary approach that doesn't need to over-complicate the music or the sound that is produced, yet both providing enough interest to keep listeners engaged through slightly different end products.

Surfing Strange is not an album that will set the pulse racing with fist-pumping songs, but it does occasionally unleash some fine moments of warm, up-tempo fuzziness that brings to mind a host of luminaries from the golden age of college rock or whatever one might want to call it. These moments are interspersed with a sense of space and sparseness, where songs are simple in all manner of delivery, but that basic approach allows them to blossom, be it from the more relaxed tunes to those where they get the head nodding appreciably and those which combine both approaches.

Any band who feature three vocalists are already onto a winner in terms of allowing variety to sneak into their work and that's certainly the case here, with Crutchfield offering up the sweet, reserved performance whilst Kyle Gilbride takes on the role of aggressor, or as much of one as Swearin' possess, with bassist Keith Spencer offering an understated role when front and centre. The songs that work best for me are "Echo Locate" which builds from a quiet, slow start to a coda offering a kind of crunchy Dinosaur Jr freakage, that the band seem to, successfully, call on now and again.

Swearin' only released their first LP last year so this is a relatively quick follow-up, although both records possess different qualities with the self-titled debut being a bit more consistent in the style and content whereas I'm finding Surfing Strange has a bit more substance and variety. Neither betters the other but they complement each other nicely forming the bulk of the band's discography.

 

 
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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.
Indecay (November 20, 2013)

I like this a lot. Will probably be in my top 10 this year.

rabbit (November 20, 2013)

the waxahatchee comment was i suppose definitely... not hugely precise. i don't think that they sound like waxahatchee but i think the tempo they've brought it down to definitely matches waxahatchee's - music you can't dance to.
in case that sounds overly critical - i actually have really enjoyed both of waxahatchee's albums. i just think it's a pity that swearin' seem to have taken a step towards a less lively live show.

eatbicycles (November 19, 2013)

I don't find it to be more like Waxahatchee but I agree that's it's not as interesting as the first LP so far. I'm not even going to rate it because I've barely begun with it. It feels like Wowee Zowee, which is my favorite Pavement record, but still I think that record was more dynamic than what I've heard from this one so far.

rabbit (November 19, 2013)

agree on the dinosaur jr freakage thang ... they really have a knack for that & is refreshing that they don't overdo it. their EP in particular demonstrates that.

i will however say that i've found this album to grab me a lot less so far than the first did. sounds closer to waxahatchee... a little more mid tempo than i like from my electric / rock-y type music.

lupine (November 18, 2013)

The album is a fun listen - weird, crunchy power pop. It reminds me of The Muffs, Superchunk, Redd Kross, and the Pixies (the bass lines sound like something Kim Deal would write).

someone-yeah (November 18, 2013)

Seems kinda weird to have an embed for their first album in the review for their second, but whatevs. Dope album.

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