Jan. 19th, 2016 - Chop Suey
Written by Judith Feenstra
That feeling when you and your girlfriend round the corner at Madison and 14th only to see a cluster California-raised, beach-baked bros in line to see the surf-rock show—and suddenly all is right in this world. Walking through a cloud of cigarette smoke and what I can only imagine is the smell of too much beachy pomade, we step through Chop Suey’s open jaws and settle comfortably on the floor.
One glance to the left revealed two of the four members of SWMRS (hard to miss with their blindingly-bleached hair and value village fashion statements) standing quietly to the side of the crowd and chewing pretty obnoxiously on some kind of extreme caramels (adorable). The floor tightened and Walter Mitty finished their set; The Shiver Twins rotated onto the stage and let out some very loud, very yelly sounds.
About 8 songs later—all of which I spent trying to figure out how the lead singer didn’t realize that he sounds exactly like Nickleback’s Chad Kroeger all the while trying desperately to look like Wavves’ Nathan Williams, The Shiver Twins made their exit from the stage and the real excitement began. I leaned over to my girlfriend and warned “…you better be ready to unleash all of your California, boyish angst right here and now…” and she responded with an enthusiastic fist to the ceiling. It was time.
SWMRS opened with their epic 18 min. hit “Like Harry Dean Stanton”, a tune that burns good clean angsty California rock through your ears for its entirety. The crowd was amped and committed to this high energy for the remainder of the show. Following were both of the band’s most recent singles “Uncool” and “Miley”, both describing their love for California and a certain west-coast, “punk rock queen” that reps the state like no one else. Other fan-recognizable tunes included “Silver Bullet”, “Figuring It Out”, and closing out the show “Drive North, I Hate Los Angeles”—an gnarly anthem to those that hate Venice beach, Venice park, Downtown, and all the dirty hot-spots of LA, hoping to abandon them for the northern PNW.
SWMR’s anticipated first full-recorded album Drive North (The Miley/Uncool EP was released late 2015) is supposedly to be released on Burger Records this year; its first single “Figuring it out” has received very positive feed back and has only heightened the anticipation for the new record. These guys have so much spunk and rarely have I ever seen a rowdier band live—seriously they put DOWN for the fans and throw a kickass party at every show. Also seen with the band last night (and welcomed on stage to showcase her guitar skills for the last song) was known music photographer Pooneh Ghana. Ghana has been known to photograph many bands whilst on their tours, some of these aforementioned artists included Cage The Elephant, Andrew W.K. and Mac Demarco—I’m sure SWMRS was super stoked to get spend several tour dates with Pooneh on board.
SWMRS put on one hell of a show in Seattle this week and if your town comes up next on their list, I would highly encourage you to go and dance your ass off with a couple of homies while this amazing and upcoming band leads your path to party town, where all the ‘uncool’ kids hang out.