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The Swayback - The Swayback (Cover Artwork)

The Swayback

The Swayback: The SwaybackThe Swayback (2004)
Too Bad You're Beautiful

Reviewer Rating: 3.5


Contributed by: greg0rbgreg0rb
(others by this writer | submit your own)

Like a fine wine, I have aged and fermented these releases that comprised my last few reviews. This, a 2004 album by the Swayback (with some tracks on it dating back to 2002), is the last of the old bunch, and either time has served it well, or I just should have listened to this earlier. Probably t.
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Like a fine wine, I have aged and fermented these releases that comprised my last few reviews. This, a 2004 album by the Swayback (with some tracks on it dating back to 2002), is the last of the old bunch, and either time has served it well, or I just should have listened to this earlier. Probably the later.

The Denver trio surprised me with their dark and unique style, their closest comparison being Joy Division. The vocals, shared by guitarist Eric Halborg and bassist Bill Murphy, span the spooky spectrum from Ian Curtis to Glenn Danzig. Yet the music tends to dance and bounce more often that either of those two groups, courtesy of drummer Martijn Bolster, without losing a sludgy, distorted feel akin to the Stooges.

The album is recorded quite simply, and it serves their sound well. In standout "Blanked Out Bruise Sounds," the feel switches from pounding constant eight notes in the guitar filling up all the musical space to a dancy section with a guitar lead getting no backup from any extra guitars dubbed in underneath, leaving some breathing room. Another favorite of mine is "You Follow You Swallow," which has a Hives-like riff for the breaks, some snarled vocals and a heavier almost metal chorus.

Sticking to their overall vibe, they still deliver surprises. "All Bad News" has the speed and snottiness of a DK song, and then they turn around on the next track "Tisk Tisk" and deliver a more electronic number containing Suicide-ish simplistic drum machine, watery synths and eerie vocals. It all fits into the vein they are going for, yet mixes things up.

Somehow familiar with a combination of agreeable elements, yet incomparable to any other current acts, the Swayback deliver on their debut full-length. They must be gaining quite a fanbase, as they have nabbed opening slots with bands like the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Pretty Girls Make Graves, Gang of Four and Hot Hot Heat, so I expect you'll be hearing more from these boys in the future.

 

 
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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.
Anonymous (March 12, 2006)

reviewer got it wrong. eric plays bass and sings on all songs except for your follow you swallow. agree with one poster, live show has become dissappointing, toning down their music from what can be found on this album, quirkier, less rock-n-roll, less dark, doesn't play as well live, and not as fun to listen to. this is a great album, i would expect the next to not be as good....

Anonymous (February 4, 2006)

swayback passed my sober ipod "shuffle" test. they are a great band and definitely don't suck -most importatly they have room to grow.

Anonymous (February 4, 2006)

Wow Maybe music does have a chance!

Anonymous (February 3, 2006)

pretty amazing band

Anonymous (February 2, 2006)

go denver!

i have seen them live many times...they used to be one of my favorite live local bands. but last time i saw them (way back last year when they opened for gang of four) they were really disappointing. they almost didn't sound like the same band. the pure energy...was gone. and i was like, "wtf happened?"

Anonymous (January 30, 2006)

denver bands? sweet. what about detective jabsco?

darkstarm (January 29, 2006)

good stuff

the_other_scott (January 29, 2006)

denver. just killing it. these guys are ok. but they wear more makeup on stage than matt skiba.

they were also MP3 of the week sometime a long time ago

givemeamuseumandillfillit (January 29, 2006)

I recently got this cd and all i can say is that they're probably a fucking awesome live act.

inagreendase (January 29, 2006)

Weird record, but pretty decent, raw rock'n'roll at that.

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