The Swellers
My Everest


4.0
excellent

Review

by Joe Costa USER (34 Reviews)
June 9th, 2007 | 24 replies | 9,832 views


Release Date: 2007 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The first official full length from this Michigan four-piece showcases a tremendous amount of talent and songwriting ability while crafting some of the best melodic punk of the past five years.

5 of 5 thought this review was well written

Out of the fairly substantial variety of music that I listen to, melodic punk has always been sort of a foundation of sorts. It all started a long time ago when I was given a copy of NOFX’s magnum opus So Long and Thanks For All the Shoes for Easter, along with AFI’s Sing the Sorrow. I don’t exactly remember how I even formulated an interest in NOFX in the first place, to be perfectly honest. Something tells me that my inaugural journey to the Vans Warped Tour in 2002 had something to do with it, especially after witnessing their stellar performance among the crowd of radio-friendly pop-punk bands I had come to see.

However though, it could be states the So Long… has become a bit of a starting point from where I began to develop my own music taste, which still remains here today. It was my first introduction to melodic punk, a genre that I found more of an appeal in than contemporary pop-punk for its harder edge, and more confrontational subject matter. To this day, I still love the genre. However much my tastes have expanded past that, reaching into the far corners of hip-hop, metal, emo, indie, and dozens of others, punk has always been at the foreground of it all. That’s why I can enjoy a band like the Swellers, who have made the best straight melodic punk album I have heard in quite some time in My Everest, the Fenton, Michigan group’s first proper full-length.

The most defining quality of My Everest is the incredible songwriting that pervades the album. Melodic punk, as a whole, can be made or broken by the songwriting skills exhibited by the band, and the Swellers clearly show that they are near the top of their game when it comes to musical and lyrical construction. The whole band is well versed in avoiding the dreaded “Pennywise” syndrome (every song sounds the same musically, all of the lyrics are preachy and self-righteous, etc) by throwing in large amounts of variety all over the record. Whether it is the Dragon Force-esque slide guitar solo of “Skoots”, the sludgy breakdown that opens “Surrounded” or the two-minute acoustic dirge of “Keep Looking Where Your Eyes Are Looking Now”, there is variety in droves all over My Everest, which makes it as easily digestible as it is. The band even shows that they are fully capable of making an almost six minute song, the closing opus of “The Way Back Home”, earn a passing grade, something bands with experience 10 years their senior cannot do.

The variety of the musical construction, however, is not the only attraction in the Swellers sizeable bag of tricks. Lyrically, the Diener brothers (the band’s principle songwriters) prove to be better songwriters than many of their peers in the genre, tackling topics of friendship and interpersonal relationships, more specifically losing friends and coping with that loss (“Surrounded”), to the more upbeat and hopeful embrace of friendships that last the test of distance (“The Way Back Home”), and even the feeling of jadedness associated with realizing the worst qualities of the human race (“Bottles”). The lyrical content ranges from the very pessimistic and nearly misanthropic to the hopeful optimism, and almost always addresses the topic of interpersonal relationships in ways that have been neglected previously from other groups.

Outstanding musicianship is prevalent all over My Everest as well. “The Flood” in particular is a standout musically, with its mellow and distant-sounding acoustic introduction before moving into one of the fastest punk songs I’ve heard recently. It relies on much more than just constantly hammering power chords to establish the breakneck rhythm that dominates the track, instead utilizing plenty of open chord voicings for a more open and unique sound which compliments the faster rhythm well and gives the song another subtle bit of variety that would otherwise not be present, before ripping into a solo that rocks like A Wilhelm Scream with more emotion. “This is My Everest”, however, changes things up drastically, relying on a more rhythmically driven dynamic which showcases Jon Diener’s superb drumming skills and ability to change tempos at the drop of a hat.

However, for as all around kickass as My Everest is, it is not a perfect record by any stretch of the imagination. Some songs scattered throughout the album are just not nearly as strong as others. “Vehicle City” starts the album off on a fairly mundane note, sounding more disjointed than complex at times and suffering from a bit of incongruous construction with its more rock-driven riff overtop the million-mile-an-hour guitars and drums. And then, there is always the fact that this is melodic punk rock, and nothing really far beyond that. The band sticks to what they know very well, however, it can become tiring after repeated listens unless the only band you listen to is Bad Religion or No Use For a Name, in which case you will listen to this over and over again without ever getting even slightly tired of it.

However, My Everest still has an innumerable amount of redeeming factors. The lead vocals are fairly strong and interesting throughout, while the three-part harmonies are a fantastic (albeit expected) addition to the mix. There are catchy hooks galore layered among the technically sound musicianship, and all while accented by the stellar and clean production courtesy of Mark Michalik. My Everest is the perfect addition to any punk fans collection, and could be a future gateway album for those who have yet to venture into the world of melodic punk.

Recommended Tracks: This is My Everest, Skoots, Bottles, The Flood

This is as close to a 4.5 as a 4 could possibly get in my book.



Recent reviews by this author
Small Brown Bike Our Own WarsAlucard After Dark
Texas Is the Reason Texas is the ReasonThe Falcon Unicornography
Cracker Kerosene HatStrung Out Blackhawks Over Los Angeles
user ratings (71)
Chart.
3.9
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
plane
Staff Reviewer
June 9th 2007



6092 Comments


Great review. I remember looking forward to this and then just forget about it. I'll get it sooner or later.

RandyfromPennywise
June 9th 2007



752 Comments


I pretty much haven't checked out any new Punk bands for a year or more, but melodic Punk is always a winner, I might download this. Pretty tops review there mate.

Intransit
June 9th 2007



2797 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I think you should really buy it. I've hung out with these guys before and they are all some of the nicest dudes ever, not to mention they could really use the money. It's up for sale at www.snrrecords.com. Trust me kids, its totally worth your 10 dollars.

Two-Headed Boy
June 9th 2007



4527 Comments


This sounds really good actually. Might give it a stab.
Nice work as usual. Intransit (and the rest of C&D, for that matter), has been on constant rotation recently.

slep
June 9th 2007



1604 Comments


Hmmm this sounds pretty damn cool. I'm going to look into this. Good review.

The Sludge
June 9th 2007



2169 Comments


I just saw a bulleton from the band that advertises the review.

Good one, I'm gonna try to find this outside of online with no credit card.

TravisBarkerrules
June 9th 2007



24 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Great cd, Like you said sweet bunch of guys. I played with them the first time they where in Omaha. Also, check out a band that the toured with last year, Alucard. Alucard is up there with The Swellers, their guitarist is AMMMMMAAAZZZZIIINNNGGG.

If you have a chance see these two bands live. It is 10 times, maybe more, better live!!!!
Seriously, Amazing.

On a side note. Le Meu Le Purr, is another band that when I saw them live I almost crapped my pants it was so good.This Message Edited On 06.09.07

plane
Staff Reviewer
June 9th 2007



6092 Comments


Nice work as usual. Intransit (and the rest of C&D, for that matter), has been on constant rotation recently.

hey nostradamus.

Two-Headed Boy
June 10th 2007



4527 Comments


Glad to see someone's hip with old Doug.

RandyfromPennywise
June 11th 2007



752 Comments


Man these guys sound so much like two local bands from Adelaide, Australia, called "Seraph's Coal" and "str". str were pretty crap, but Seraph's were awesome, this guy's voice sounds exactly like his.

ToWhatEnd
June 11th 2007



3172 Comments


Cool stuff, my net was down for like three days hence the late comment. I think I'm missing the last track off of this but there is some awesome stuff here.

[quote=review]The whole band is well versed in avoiding the dreaded “Pennywise” syndrome[/quote] LAWL!This Message Edited On 06.11.07

La Revolucion
June 14th 2007



1060 Comments


This is way better than I expected it to be. Probably a 3.5 or a 4 in my book.

Intransit
July 3rd 2007



2797 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Saw this band live the other night in a fucking warehouse and it was definitely some awesome shit. Setlist went like this:

Bottles
Vehicle City
Run
They All Float Down Here
The Flood
This is My Everest
The Inside
Tunnel Vision

And la rev, I'm glad to hear it. I put this on all the time.

ToWhatEnd
July 5th 2007



3172 Comments


So like the loser I am I just made their set list a play list and listened to it all...now I'm really sad they aren't coming here anytime soon.

PhoenixRising
July 12th 2007



277 Comments


I'll give respect to any review referencing Dragon Force!

plane
Staff Reviewer
September 16th 2007



6092 Comments


This is way better than I expected it to be. Probably a 3.5 or a 4 in my book.

Yeah, a lot of good stuff on here. 'Bottles' is tight.

Intransit
September 29th 2007



2797 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Skoots and Bottles are so good. Anyone else here digging on Rain Check?

Last two times I saw them, they playeddddddd

Vehicle City
Bottles
Tunnel Vision
Rain Check
The Flood
This is My Everest
Skoots
They All Float Down Here

and

Vehicle City
Bottles
The Flood
This is My Everest
Clean Slate
What's At Stake
They All Float Down Here

Word. This Message Edited On 11.12.07

Kiran
Emeritus
August 22nd 2008



6001 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Really cool album.

Digging: Spoon - They Want My Soul

Intransit
November 29th 2008



2797 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

There are videos of a new song on youtube (saw them play it at the fest as well). Pretty awesome. Has a more-punk Foo Fighters/Jimmy Eat World feel to it.

KTV
February 12th 2009



760 Comments


The little solo in 'Bottles' rapes me.



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2014 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy