Though the lead singer (in the liner, no credits are attributed to any members) sounds very much like Ray Davies, this groups' music is not very Kinksy but instead a more futuristic pop sound with pronounced rock edges, dreamlike but with borders and beats. The group issued a debut, this is their second release, but decided to completely reinvent their sound while building a recording studio from the ground up, after workaday employment repairing massive church organs and majoring in musical performance in college. Music is what they live.
Named after a John Cheever short story, The Swimmers are alternatingly dense and airy, infused with electronica, staggered rhythms, skyblown choruses, and compositional brightness despite the often harshly pleasant guitar attacks. There's a large element of innocence and wonder scattered throughout the CD, not to mention clever arrangements counterpointed by simple lines within lines within lines. A John Foxx episode occurs here, some Teardrop Explodes there, a shred of Big Country, some Utopia, Ultravox, and a number of even older influences: touches of Bowie and Bolan.
Save Me is a particularly attractive cut. I doubt it would make mainstream air but should prove virally infectious to alt stations (ya listening, Nik Harcourt?), a more cosmic version of the marvelous Guggenheim Grotto after they'd had some coaching in percussives and emphasis. The follower, Nervous Wreck, is equally lofty, building and building until a seductive cloud diorama is achieved, ringing with harmonics. The group's 2008 debut release was warmly received by critics, and I can't see how the inky brethren will fail to eat this one up. There's just too much here not to.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2009, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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