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Surfing Strange

Wichita/PIAS Australia

Philadelphia trio Swearin’ don’t sound like the abrasive hard rocking band that their name implies. Sure they brandish guitars but they err more on the side of slacker rock than the darker tones of metal. Surfing Strange is their second album in as many years.

Swearin’ are fronted by Allison Crutchfield, whose twin sister Katie also had a big 2013 with the release of her folk inspired Waxahatchee album. Between them the sisters have cornered the market on the cool ‘underground’ sounds. Swearin’ also benefit from Kyle Gilbride, who has an unencumbered tone that adds a fine point of difference to the more frenetic Crutchfield.

There is a healthy dose of Superchunk and The Blake Babies in the approach of Swearin’ and the boy/girl ‘unrequited grudges’ aspect of the tunes is one of this youthful acts strengths. There is a whole lot of tunes here that make you want to knock the top off an ale and sing along at the top of your lungs.

The final part of the album sees Swearin’ turn back towards their punk roots with the straight forward attack of Unwanted Place and Young to show that they haven’t totally grown up between records.

Surfing Strange may not be breaking a whole lot of new ground – and at worst could be called derivative – but it sure is a great little listen. Surfing Strange is one of the surprise packets of late last year.



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