“Last night I got struck by lightening/ While I was trying to swim” From the very first line of the Nottingham five-piece’s debut album, the automatic spine chills that become rather commonplace as the album progresses, are teased through the listener. Enhanced with John Sampson’s gentle vocals sounding like a darker Jack Steadman (of Bombay Bicycle Club) amidst the beautiful eeriness of the likes of The Postal Service; that is, before the first track erupts into a less impressive and more basic style of rock/electronica that also appears to characterise the album.
Yet, to the band’s credit, SWIMMInG don’t combine the two genres in the same way that bands like Head Automatica do so in a bid to reach out to the popular mainstream. Their penchant for the dark static ambience that lies like a shadow over the album’s nine tracks, quite effortlessly exudes the bands influences that include Sonic Youth, Animal Collective and Pixies.
Releasing ‘The Fireflow Trade’ on their own record label, Colourschool, in many ways the band’s album showcases its own innovative brand of post-rock noise that rivals the likes of Do Say Make Think. However, with at times rather monotonous lyrics, which includes 16 consecutive repetitions of the line /Set ablaze a fire/ in the final track and a collage of uninspiring drones, in other ways the album appears to lack the charm and subtly that the opening 30 seconds emptily promises.
However, as a debut album, SWIMMInG has seemingly established a sort of variety throughout the tracks that serves as a platform to show their diverse capabilities and, as with all debuts, will provide an unprecedented opportunity for them to grow as a band and perhaps establish a more certain sound.