SWEARIN’: Surfing Strange: LP

May 21, 2014

My expectations were too high for this record. Swearin’s self-titled LP floored me. It filled the void after P.S. Eliot’s break-up and provided so many memorable, angst-riddled anthems. Sadly, Surfing Strange left me mostly bored. The two opening tracks (“Dust in the Gold Sack” and “Watered Down”) are both robust and understated; the perfect songs to draw you right in. Then comes the overly long, Breeder’s homage “Mermaid”—at that point, Swearin’ spit me right out. What follows are a series of lazy, fatigued ballads and derivative tunes. “Echo Locate” and “Unwanted Place” are exceptions, but they rely too heavily on the StephenMalkmusSchool of ‘90s Progressions. Ultimately, the major issue is that the record has several dry spells, and the strong songs are book-ended by underwhelming, rail-thin tunes. This would have been an incredible EP rather than a full-length. Bummer. 

 –Sean Arenas (Salinas, salinasrecords.com)