Swearin' - Swearin' [12-inch] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick


Swearin' [12-inch] (2012)

Salinas Records

P.S. Eliot may be gone, but ex-member Allison Cruthfield is already back with a new band: Swearin'. Sonically, the group's self-titled debut picks right up where P.S. Eliot left off. This is punk verging on indie rock a la the Measure [SA] and Cheap Girls, with a heavy debt to '90s groups like Breeders, Juliana Hatfield Three and the Rentals (minus, ya know…the synths). Balancing out those poppier tendencies is the band's lo-fi-ish sensibility, which is to say, this record isn't produced all that well. Swearin' is still mighty fine, though.

"1" begins the record by gradually cranking the volume, but given the not-so-flashy production, it just sounds odd. From then on out, though, it's victories. Well, besides the lyrics. Those are downers: "I'm a mess and I'm in line / I'm almost impressed enough to try" go the lone lyrics to "Kill 'Em With Kindness," and they pretty much sum up the mid-20s malaise that permeates the songs. Shit's getting old, but that doesn't stop Swearin' from tryin'.

Like the best sad songs, though, Swearin' tampers their pessimism with rocking arrangements and emphatic vocals. There are plenty of whoas to go around. While they generally stick to the poppier end of things, the record's second half brings in the noise, especially on closer "Movie Star."

It feels like P.S. Eliot broke up just as they were getting started, even though the members swore they had accomplished everything they set out to do. But, between Swearin' and Waxahatchee, it sounds like the band's legacy is going to lie in what comes next, not what has been.