The Swellers

Ups And Downsizing

Written by: PP on 16/11/2009 16:35:04

The Swellers caught my interest when several high profile online magazines across the web praised it to the skies, with one in particular boldly calling "Ups And Downsizing" the best Fueled By Ramen release since the seminal albums by Jimmy Eat World and The Stereo. That's quite a statement, and when you look at who these guys have toured with in the past (A Wilhelm Scream, Polar Bear Club, Paramore among others) or the amount of pure love they're getting from the fans, they may just be onto something. "Ups And Downsizing" is their sophomore album, and if any of the names mentioned hit close to home for you, then you should definitely be checking it out.

Essentially, The Swellers play bright, melodic rock which alternates between d-beat punk beats and straight forward rock harmonies. Occasionally they sound like a pop punk band but never as polished as the likes of Hit The Lights, nor as raw as New Found Glory, but somewhere just in between the two sounds. In a way you could argue they're a crossbreed of Bayside and Broadway Calls in a 70-30 split, but it's much easier to say that they're just a rock band with considerable punk influence. A few of the songs are almost straight off the Bayside playbook, particularly one of the highlights "Do You Feel Better Yet?" which contains a vocal harmony that could've been on "The Walking Wounded" (same goes for "Sleeper"). But as a whole, however, The Swellers are much faster and less subtle than Bayside, or in other words, a more distinctly 'rock' version of the band.

While the high-octane guitars provide lots of variety from slowish to medium tempo through breakneck speed skatepunk ("The Iron" distantly recalls This Is A Standoff without technical guitar leads), the main reason why people are hyping this release up so much is vocalist Nick Diener. He has an uncanny ability to craft subtle-but-dynamic vocal lines that are guaranteed to hypnotize you into wondering just how he's able to croon with so much emotion without sounding whiny in the process. I may not be joining my fellow peers in elevating this album to a sky-high status, but there's no question that we're listening to a very good album with only a couple of tracks which sound off on the record.


Download: 2009, Do You Feel Better Yet?
For the fans of: Bayside, Broadway Calls, Alkaline Trio
Listen: Myspace

Release date 29.09.2009
Fueled By Ramen

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