Swearin’ operates and shines like a well-oiled, pragmatic machine. Their complimentary personalities, solid work-ethic, and similar backgrounds in DIY punk, have helped them thrive. Formed in 2011 in Brooklyn, Allison Crutchfield (guitar) and Kyle Gilbride (guitar) had been making demos for nearly a year before inviting Keith Spencer (bass) into the equation. The trio eventually added longtime friend and Philadelphia resident Jeff Bolt on drums, releasing their demo EP, What a Dump, shortly thereafter.
The demo received instant praise from Brooklyn’s indie punk scene and beyond. It combined the sounds of Gilbride and Crutchfield’s prior bands (Big Soda and P.S. Eliot, respectively) while stretching into new territories of fuzzed guitars and compounded song structures.
In 2012, Swearin’ released their debut self-titled LP on Salinas Records. On that album their dynamic and sound fully started to emerge and flourish and they received much critical acclaim, including a 7.8 from Pitchfork who said “it’s the kind of record that reminds you of why you were drawn to indie rock in the first place”, and Stereogum who described it as “compact, tightly constructed, smart, explosive, and very catchy.” The album caught the ear of all at Wichita Recordings in London who will give the record it’s first official release outside of North America in October.
During July and August 2013, Swearin’ holed up in Hazel House in their new hometown of Philadelphia and, with Kyle once again at the controls, they set about recording their sophomore album. That record has been christened Surfing Strange and it sees the band build upon the foundations laid with their debut to create a record with a more rich and varied sound. Hot on the heels of the European release of the debut, Surfing Strange will be released by Wichita Recordings (outside of North America) in November.
On Surfing Strange the band often slows things down to a grungier, Breeders-like pace (“Parts of Speech”, “Watered Down”) and include more stripped-down moments (“Melanoma”, “Loretta’s Flowers”.) One song (“Mermaid”) includes spoken word from an original piece of writing by Keith, whilst on “Glare of the Sun” they introduce keys for the first time, as the song slides from part to part in a style that recalls Olivia Tremor Control (or even The Beatles?!)
It’s a generally moodier record than its predecessor but the indie-rock growl and energy that propelled their debut are never far away, with songs like “Unwanted Place”, “Young” and first single, “Dust In The Gold Sack” guaranteed to keep fans of that sound grinning from ear to ear.