Wednesday, August 27, 2014

New Swears: new album!

Every New Swears album is essentially a concept album - and that concept is rocking and rolling all night and partying every day. Last year's Funny Isn't Real has to be considered one of the greatest party records ever made - and that's not hyperbole. It's just the truth! So the big question is how in the world can you top a masterpiece of debauchery like Funny Isn't Real? And the answer, I'd say, is that you don't even have to try. New Swears are back with a new LP called Junkfood Forever, Bedtime Whatever, and it's everything I hoped for and then some. This album boasts greatly improved production, and the songwriting shows tremendous growth along with a playful openness to trying new things. But ultimately, New Swears are still New Swears. And you know what that means: crazy times and catchy songs!

The thing about New Swears is that their schtick isn't really schtick at all. Anyone who's met them or seen them live will confirm that they really are party animals of the highest order. And while Funny Isn't Real seemed to revel in these guys' depraved actions and questionable life choices, Junkfood Forever shows a tremendous awareness of the path they've chosen and its inevitable consequences. This album spends a lot of time in that moment of aftermath - when you've woken up from another night of hard partying and can't help taking stock of what all these antics might be costing you. But fear not - none of this self-awareness has yet caused New Swears to abandon such time-honored pursuits as drinking, drugging, and soliciting ladies of the evening. Junkfood Forever builds off the garage/pop/surf stylings of Funny Isn't Real and takes it to another level. Even if these lads can see that they're on a fast path to nowhere, they seem completely intent on enjoying the ride!

It takes about ten seconds for "Midnight Lovers" to establish itself as an instant anthem, and right off you just know Junkfood Forever is going to be no letdown. A song like "Main Stream" shows that New Swears have come a long way with their songwriting, yet little has changed philosophically ("Some band already did that/But we don't really give a shit/We're just having way too much fun/To care about the bull shit"). And "Stay Gold" is probably the high water mark of New Swears' career so far - starting as an honest examination of the heavy toll that too much partying can take on a person's life and concluding as a resounding celebration of the lifestyle they've chosen. I've never taken a drug in my life, and yet I can't resist the urge to sing along to a line like "I wanna smoke all my weed for free"!

I really like the feel of this record - it's a little more mellowed-out overall, but still great fun and chock full of melodies I'll be whistling for months. The acoustic number "Candyland" recalls The Replacements when they were young and fucked up, and breezy album closer "No Fun" is unlike anything New Swears have done before - showing considerable musical sophistication and a rather serious lyrical tone. Major credit goes out to the band and studio engineer Yogi Perogi for creating an album that demonstrates that New Swears actually have talent while still maintaining the fuck-all spirit of prior releases. Junkfood Forever isn't quite a sequel to Funny Isn't Real. It's more like the next chapter in a tale that will somebody be considered epic. Our boys are growing up - but not too much. Stop whatever you're doing, grab a cold brew, and get lost in the sheer awesomeness of this album! You can stream it via the Bandcamp link below and purchase the vinyl from the great Bachelor Records! North American release is coming on Dirt Cult Records on July 31, 2015.


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