PropertyOfZack Review : : The Swellers
The Michigan punk rockers have released their fifth studio album, Good For Me, which might just spark the reaction they need to secure their position in the mainstream and propel them to the dizzying heights of widespread success. Whilst not a massive departure from the sound of its predecessor, Ups and Downsizing (2009), their newest effort represents a maturity in The Swellers ability, which justifies the adage ‘you get better with age’.
The new-found comfort in experience, that seems to be reassuring brothers Nick and John Diener, who started The Swellers all the way back in 2002, is evident in opener ‘Runaways’. Short and sweet, this track is a sign of things to come, with bouncy guitar riffs shooting into rapid verse power-chords and an undeniably memorable chorus. Next up is ‘Inside My Head’, improving upon its former with a reminiscent Jimmy Eat World Bleed American era tone, bringing the listener back to the turn of the millennium, before punk rock was hijacked and turned into pop punk by bands more concerned with image than music.
After ‘The Damage’ and ‘Parkview’, Good For Me already has the makings of a classic album that won’t be listened to and then long forgotten. The latter, whilst lyrics talk of “shovelling snow”, conjures images of summer, with a warm and positive vibe, which is built upon in ‘The Best I Ever Had’ combining the sentimentality of Yellowcard with the raucous angst of an old Sum 41 record. All this is infused with brisk and energetic beats and luscious backing vocals.
Record label Fueled By Ramen has a habit of seeking out real talent, with the likes of Fall Out Boy, Panic! At the Disco and Paramore on their impressive band roster and they haven’t gone amiss with The Swellers. Every track is a potential hit single, whilst maintaining complete integrity and the latter half of the record gives an insight into a more serious side of this four-piece sound. ‘Better Things’ is more Plus 44 than Blink 182, with a catchy yet expressive chorus. ‘Nothing More To Me’ captivates this bands ethos, there’s no hidden motive, The Swellers are a straight up punk rock band making quality music.
Good For Me will transport you back to the turn of the century, with emotional tracks that don’t converge onto ‘whiney’ territory, and musicians who are genuine and play music for the love of music. The evocative sound is by no means outdated; it just simply has a mark of quality that has been lacking in many albums of late. Released on the same day as The Wonder Years new album, one hopes that those who appreciate decent music will be sure to pick up The Swellers new record too.
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