The Great Explainer - The Way Things Swell [10-inch] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

The Great Explainer

The Way Things Swell [10-inch] (2010)


The Great Explainer come from an increasingly populated school of post-Hot Water Music followers that have turned out a variety of high points (and some mediocre versions, too). It's the melodic, gruff post-hardcore punk we're all familiar with, but when you sound as worn and brash as the Great Explainer do on their EP, The Way Things Swell, you have to hope you've stumbled upon a successful successor.

The band's main vocalist has a bellowed, throaty roar that's met with a measure of contrast and clarity by their other guy, who himself sounds like a cross between This Sinking Ship-era Joe McMahon and a younger Chris Conley. Opener "Quotas" is made by the latter dude, with an anthemic and heartfelt bridge ("feeling tension / waiting for reaction") providing the whole highlight of the EP; in fact, maybe anthemic vocal parts are what the band do best, evidenced further by such a group-assisted part in "Codeine... Bourbon."

But a more straightforward chugger like "I Finally Found My Dreamboat" is more than a competent placeholder, helping to build a consistent momentum for the entirety of this one-sided 10", while closer "Michael Jordan: 666" has some heavier noodles that prove the band, perhaps, have more tricks up their sleeve than previously pigeonholed with.

There's definitely some potential at play here, but what the Great Explainer are doing already stands out decently among the legion of bands they're alongside.

The Way Things Swell EP