Sounds Of Swami – ‘Furniture For Modern Living’.
Sounds Of Swami are band that create intrigue before you press play. The Keighley four-piece first raise your eyebrows via who they cite as their influences, with the likes of At The Drive-In, Fugazi, The Bronx and Hot Snakes brashly and unashamedly listed alongside the expect genre-tags of Post-Hardcore, Punk and the middle man, Alternative Rock.
Alongside a line of EPs and a full-length, Furniture For Modern Living is the band’s second full-length seeing them hone their aggressive yet tuneful and playful socio-political Post-Hardcore all the further. ‘Lull’ begins and takes its time though the eerie, on to the heavy and back to the eerie.
‘Guillotine’ boasts strong Alternative Rock riffs with a classic Post-Hardcore structure and tone. Sounds Of Swami are big fans of melody and show no restraint in applying this where ever they see fit. Two tracks in and you can feel an album crafted for a live performance.
‘Kill Me Already’ teases you with Hardcore Punk roots before falling into vintage Fugazi verses that invoke a playful dance before a chorus leaning closer to Grunge. The bass guitar tone is gratuitously low and has the time of its ground hugging life. ‘Kill Me Already’ is self deprecation and rage, a Punk-Rock song spun around the fruits of its grandchild’s labour in near-perfect Post-Hardcore.
The playful bass-lines and not so gentle groove follows into the Psychedelic leaning ‘Rome Won’t Wait’, where the band continues to let loose in Punk/Post-Hardcore catharsis. ‘Twisted My Arm’ moves away from the Punk-tempos, keeping the aggression but channeling it though cumbersome riffs in another contender for the best of the record.
‘Palava’ is an English At The Drive-In and lyrically perhaps the most entertaining in its critical tone. By this point on the album you begin to expect either a complete move away from the “norm” or perhaps a further headlong charge into where you think this album is going. Sounds Of Swami also hold Progressive Rock in high regard so with the instrumental, not quite calming but at least rest-bite-providing ‘Bigger Picture’, you are provided with said break, before the bi-polar Fugazi-esque ‘Take Take Take’ rages and hates against more than just one Western world forced vice or supposed standard.
Sounds Of Swami are taking Post-Hardcore Punk-Rock and making it as dangerous as and critical as it arguably should be. You can’t help but feel comparisons towards the likes of the legends Refused and their album that need-not be named but also the likes of Petrol Girls and Super Unison, who if you are unaware of and are digging this… Well, go on, make note.
After another blast of progressive Hardcore Punk (above) you re unsure of what to expect. Furniture For Modern Living has likely knocked you for six up to this point and upon seeing the 6:12 of ‘Tough Love’, the band still have time to shock you. ‘Tough Love is sombre and emotive in its verses, seeing the band at their most melodic and vocalist Kurt Wood at his most impressive. – ‘I punish myself until I understand’.
Of course though, there was bound to be a “heavy bit” and with ‘Tough Love’ the weight of this release throws itself around one last time.
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- Music: bandcamp, Spotify, Google Play, Deezer, iTunes/Apple Music.
- Drawing Board Records: bandcamp.