Review Summary: It's not a very unique record but the level of energy and passion in this is high.Medium Gnarly
sounds like your typical math rock and emo band, from the unpolished yet energetic vocal performance to the chaotic but slightly catchy guitar lines that are scattered throughout the album. And while they are not exactly reinventing the wheel here, it is as clear as day that Swiss Army Wife knows precisely what they are doing from the first few seconds of their invigorating opener, This # Is No Longer in Service
. The band's indisputable amount of energy they put on display in their tracks never ceases throughout the record, with it arguably peaking at Halloween
and New Best Friend
. The former of which is filled to the brim with inventive riffs, and the latter is one of the more emotive cuts that showcases the band's solid lyric writing while still being absolutely catchy. The album ends with a heavier cut, Aight, I’mma Head Out
, but it still makes the perfect closer to the album with its concluding minute that adds melody to the track as it slowly fades out.
Where the album falls a bit short is that it is only 18 minutes long. While it is always enjoyable, the fact that it ends shortly after it starts is slightly disappointing and does make me wish it was longer. Because they sound like your average math rock band, a longer runtime would allow for more experimentation and cause the band to fully flesh out their ideas. This could lead to them being overlooked amongst the sea of other math rock bands despite their levels of unmatched energy.
Overall, Medium Gnarly
is a solid record that hold good songs with riffs that excel. These excellent riffs only add to the potency the music creates, and this carries on throughout the 18 minutes. The album does sound familiar to other groups within the genre, however, so Swiss Army Wife do need to shake things up a bit to become as impactful as they could potentially be.