Swimmer – Surreal

Swimmer
Artist: Swimmer
Title: Surreal
Label: Maverick
Rating: 8/10

Swimmer grows on you like a wonderful rash. The release of their album was delayed for a month and that worked out perfectly for me since it allowed me time to realize how great this disc is. Swimmer isn’t the kind of band that you get right away; you need to give them a chance. If you do, you’ll find out that Surreal is an amazing piece of music. While it is often dark and melancholy, it still produces highs that will have you floating from note to note.

Swimmer has a fabulously distinct vocalist, Anday Maccarron. He fronts Swimmer with a crunch in his voice and absolute emotion that will blow you away. No song goes on too long; if anything, they end too soon. Listen to the first track, “Surreal”, and you’ll know exactly what I’m saying. The vocals dig into your skin like a needle that never seems to find the right vein. And what is wonderful about this album is that it doesn’t fall off after the first track. “Dumb” follows “Surreal” and proves this point. The lyrics are powerful and numbing. “Sorry if we seem unkind/ guess we’re not bleeding your way/ you’re a blind man feeding the blind/ I think you better wake up and say/ God is so dumb”. “Dirty Word” is more of the same. This song may actually find its way onto radio. It boasts a great bass line and a wonderful chorus.

The album is amazing. Maybe it would be easier telling you what isn’t good about it. Well, I haven’t found a chink yet, but I can say that every song is a different ride through the mind of Maccarron. It’s full of highs, lows, and all that comes in between. One definitive low comes in the form of “It’s So Perfect”. Suicide is the topic and it isn’t taken lightly. The song has a reverse climax with strings accompanying Maccarron’s verses and only an acoustic guitar protecting his sheltered chorus.

“Playing Jesus” continues to tear at Maccarron’s troubled faith. “You’re playing Jesus but you don’t know how/ I guess you’re better being that way”. The album is troubling and honest. It finds its way, probing into the inner workings of the mind. Swimmer isn’t just a curiosity; they are a band to be reckoned with.

+ charles craine