Album Review: Post War Glamour Girls – Swan Songs

Review from Ben Forrester

I remember seeing Post War Glamour Girls a good few years ago on a cold Thursday night in Manchester, unaware of their work. It was fair to say that by the end of their set I was completely transfixed by their bewitching brand of indie-rock. They rapidly became my favourite new band and they have continued to impress me with the two full lengths that have come since then.

Swan Songs‘ is their third album and I hope it’s the album that will heighten the buzz that this band so deserve to have. I also hope that with a name like Swan Songs, the band aren’t trying to tell us that this is their final record? Having looked into the matter I don’t think this is the case. THANK FUCK.

It’s hard to sum up the PWGG sound – which I’m all for. From first listen, it’s fair to say that Swan Songs has many different tones, but what glues it all together is this sense of unity. There is an overwhelming feeling of passion that runs throughout this record, they mean every note and every word and it makes for their most compelling and exciting set to date!

Guiding Light‘ and ‘Chipper‘ are the ultimate opening pair; the former being a firework opener, crackling with mile a minute drums and snappy riffs while the latter is a fearless, swaggering slice of indie-rock that goes in for the kiss only to cut your lips off. It just seems like the confidence of this band grows on each record and Swan Songs is delivered with a puffed out chest attitude that you can’t help but be absorbed by.

Although it may be difficult to pin a label on them, I do hear echoes of early Wild Beasts and Modest Mouse on tracks like ‘Organ Donor‘ and ‘Big Trip‘, which manage to be beautifully melodic and menacingly theatrical at the same time. In fact, that’s something that PWGG have always done well, marrying the beauty with the bleak, but Swan Songs sees them honing in on this more and being equal amounts intense and grandiose.

It’s great to see previous single ‘Welfare By Prozac‘ make an appearance here, which really shows off the individual components that make them such a tight unit. It has a pummeling yet totally locked in rhythm section, matched with knife edge guitars that sparkle in the light to then be twisted into your hearts, completed by vocals that snarl and spit with conviction. After all that comes the incredible closing track ‘Divine Decline‘ which provides the perfect closing to a dramatic album as it rises and falls through 7 minutes of dynamic splendor. The stops are fully pulled out here as you’re lulled into a hushed intro then thrown in a fiery pit of guitars that, along with its driven rhythm section, builds this tall, strong wall of sound that leaves you stranded with the only option to climb over it.

Swan Songs is a constantly solid opus as every song on it dazzles in equal amounts. Deciding to record the album completely out of touch with the rest of the world has given them the ultimate focus to really live and breath the record. Post War Glamour Girls have taken no half measures here, delivering an album buzzing with passion and sincerity that makes me wanna be in their gang.

Swan Songs is out April 21st on Hide & Seek Records – Pre-order here!

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