Reviewed by Mark Plummer
There’s a lot to appreciate from this release. First and foremost, this is a punk band that sound like a punk band: from the dirt and grit, to the crunchy bass, the latter especially prominent on Out Of Mind; this release could easily have been pulled out of the 90s. Most impressively, it’s raw and doesn’t give a damn; it will sound how it wants and refuses to have it any other way. But rather than going on an uncontrollable joyride, it’s a release of control; the guitars soar and it manages to bring it’s own brand of melody to the fray, whilst providing an unrelenting pace; most impressive though, is none of this ever goes off the rails. There is a fine balancing act between pushing the boundaries, and crossing a line of no return.
There are moments when it becomes, dare I say it, a little complacent; Best never really gets going; Jealousy feels like it’s all been heard and done before. All in all though, it proves itself in multiple places. The trio of tracks: Angels, She’s Clear and Trigger are catalysts; if S W I M ever comes across as sticking to familiar waters, here are a few examples of how they’re not unwilling to push the boat out from the bay. If that pace ever threatens to become overwhelming, it should come as a relief that the band does manage to offer a ceasefire in Crystal. Don’t let the slower pass fool anyone, it still retains a feel for the album, but uses instrumentation to achieve a different style, one that adds oxygen when you need it most.
At times it’s hard to describe just what this album has that makes it so enchanting, it weaves its way behind the framework of the mind and lodges itself in all of the nooks and crannies. There’s a requirement to go over each track and explore deeper. If it’s not the punchy guitars that will grab your attention, then it will be the drum work; the rolls on the snare creating the stop start beat, adding to what can only be described as a high blood pressure enthused trip; Out Of Mind gets the brain racing, pulling you in and refusing to let go.
The overwhelming point of this release is the impression and feeling it leaves. It sucks you in, offering a picture of watching this band play a small club with no barriers; the singer is in your face and the whole crowd moves around yourself, sweaty fists pumping. It can be too easy to get lost in the music, but then again, that’s what it’s all about.