The Swellers - My Everest (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

The Swellers

My Everest (2007)

Search and Rescue

Influences are fairly easy to recognize in the work of younger musicians. Often, the inspired will borrow from their current peers, and the final result is all-too-often the standard carbon copy after carbon copy. With the Swellers, a band with some members that are still teenagers, a new path is being forged upon a genre that dominated when most in the group were still in elementary school.

My Everest, the debut LP from the Swellers, is the perfect album for anyone that grew up listening to punk in the mid-1990s. Their brand of highly energetic, technically proficient and amazingly melodic pop-punk will bring to mind the earlier days of bands like No Use for a Name, Lagwagon and Pulley. Skatepunk my friends, yet fresh and modern. My Everest is the perfect summer album, one you can throw on in your car, and go drive around on a warm sunny day without skipping a single song. Granted, there isn't much diversity in the tracks, but is that so bad? The band has found their niche, and is continuing to carve the hell out of it with smooth vocals accompanied by blazing guitars and a nearly flawless rhythm section. Plus, the guitar solos are well-placed and come off without the slightest sense of "cheesiness."

The album's best tracks showcase the Swellers in top form, such as "The Flood" and its breakneck pace yet perfectly balanced melodies. Then you have the highly anthemic gem on the record, "Bottles," a song belonging on any summer mix tape, and deserving of heavy repeat action on your stereo. The album's closer, "The Way Back Home," leaves the listener only wanting more. It's one of the more experimental tracks on the album, but the sequencing of it works out perfectly. Changes in varying paces and a build-up into the final minute with an increasing tempo gives the songs an almost epic feeling. It's good to see some bands closing out albums with songs that rock, which only serves to leave the listener wanting to play the album again.

The only suggestion to the band would be to work on the music's diversity, particularly the vocals, for future efforts. This isn't to say that there is necessarily anything wrong with what is presented on My Everest. For the genre, it's a fantastic effort all around, but for a band so young and with so much talent, it will be interesting to see if the they stay on the same path musically, or try something new. Regardless, with My Everest, the boys have a very firm place to start and I can only imagine they are going to get a lot better, garner more attention, and create even better albums. My Everest is a solid release and highly recommended.