It took me a while to get past opening track ‘Things That Crawl‘, simply because it is a planet imploding opener! Once that riff kicks in, there is no going back – there is so much power behind it and I can imagine a gust of wind viciously blowing through my hair as it pumps out of a PA in a sweaty little venue. It’s a clear indication on what this album is; big, cosmic and groovy.
Recent singles ‘Valley of Vision‘ and ‘Phantom‘ are brilliant slices of space-pop, full of thick guitars and drum thrashing in the choruses with urgent bass driven verses that make you wanna stick your neck out. I think a lot of fans of that early 90’s indie-dance scene will relate to this record, especially if you like the darker, pyschier moments of early Primal Scream and New Order. I’ve always been a fan of accented vocals and front man Aidan lets his northern drawl loose throughout, which I reckon will appeal to fans of that whole Madchester scene.
The first half of the record is big on the riffs (try not headbanging at the start of ‘Old World Blues‘) but it’s on the second half that Weirds go deeper sonically. Whether it’s the psych-kraut pomp of ‘Weird Sun‘ or the brooding indie pop balladry of ‘Crows‘, Weirds do a good job to cover all bases here. They find new ways to be heavy and instead of riffing out, they just let the fuzz ring out and use synths to elevate their sound to new stratosphere’s; ‘Salamander’s Sister‘ is the best display of this and is a reminder of how far out this band can go.
Ultimately, Swarmculture is a really exciting album. I remember a friend of mine going to see them recently, not knowing what to expect and they came out shouting ‘well, that was exactly what I needed‘ (Sounds familiar – Ed). And that is the exact sentiment I had with this album. I expected the unexpected and came out of it ready to run to the moon and back! This is a hefty debut, powerful in its execution with a sky’s the limit attitude. Leave your safety blankets at home and prepare to embrace Weirds.