Swamp Thing - Swamp Thing [7-inch] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Swamp Thing

Swamp Thing [7-inch] (2011)


Richmond hardcore act Swamp Thing follow their solid 2009 full-length, In Shame, with this four-song self-titled 7".

Where In Shame combined '80s speed and contemporary intensity for a pretty rigid hardcore sound, Swamp Thing changes things up. The vocals are more of a cartoon-y scowl; the mosh parts are thicker; and southern grooves have entered the fold. This is all pretty evident in opener "I Never Knew". "Out of Character" brings back some of that forward speed the band used to bank on, while a more metallic chug and this singular, cheesy guitar squiggle changes up the momentum. It's sort of cool, but decidedly cornier than Swamp Thing's ever been, admittedly. On minute-long closer "I Know You", the guitar work's steadily heavy and more ground-level intricate, though the breakdown is bellowed with another unnecessary overexertion.

New points of reference for this EP have included bands like Trash Talk and Every Time I Die. While that seems strangely accurate (to an extent), and it's no insult to those bands, but Swamp Thing's new direction still feels a little contentious. Something about it occasionally feels tawdry, but perhaps the band can smooth out the edges and deliver something more uniquely intense and real-sounding for the followup.

I Know You