Album of the Month... February 2015

Eternal Misery by No Zodiac

23 Aug 2012

Swamps Interview

Swamps are a fairly recent hardcore band from Western Massachusetts USA. Combining a heavy mix of stomping metallic riffs and New York style hardcore they are a hard hitting band who seem to be making quite a name for themselves. Upon reviewing their new release 'Seven Sides' (which is a fantastic record), I thought I would catch up with Swamps for a short interview.

Can you please introduce yourselves and give us a recent history of Swamps.
Swamps is Andy McQuade, Nicholas Bechard, Tom Margeson and JJ Degen. We’re a hardcore band from SpringfieldMassachusetts and have been playing music for about a year and a half. We have a couple releases out right now, an EP called Corroding Kings and a double 7-inch that was just recently put out by FDR called Seven Sides.

‘Seven Sides’ has just been released and sounds awesome! What can people expect from listening to this record?
Well thank you, we appreciate that. I think people can expect a more structured and harder-hitting Swamps.  For us as a band, this is a big step up from Corroding Kings. A lot more time and effort was invested in writing the new songs and I think it shows. People are saying that it seems like we’ve found our sound and we definitely agree.

What motivates you to write the music that you play?
I think just a mutual love for hardcore music. We like the music we play and want to keep creating it.

What messages and points are you trying to get out to people through your lyrics?
Not necessarily any messages or points. We’ve never really been the “preachy” type or attempt to prove anything through our lyrics. We write songs about things that piss us off, feeling shitty about situations, girls, etc.

Why is hardcore important to you?
Hardcore is important to us because I think it somewhat serves as an outlet. Whether that outlet be playing on stage or going off at a show, I think it’s all therapy for us. I’ve also always been attracted to the fact that hardcore is DIY and really anyone can be a part of it and be free to express themselves.

What is the hardcore scene like in your area and does it differ when travelling to different states?
Our scene is cool. It has a lot of history as well as a lot of current bands. It’d be nice to see more bands surface from our area though and more touring bands come through as well. Scenes definitely differ when travelling to different states. Even when we play right next door in Connecticut it seems like a different world. Some places have really tight knit scenes and others don’t. It’s really hard to judge a scene based off one show though.

If there was anything you would like to change in the hardcore scene, what would it be?
I guess violence, fights, stupid shit like that. I know it’s hardcore and things like that are going to happen but I feel like a lot of people who go to shows are more in it for the violence and not so much the music or supporting the bands.

What bands have influenced you the most since you started?
No specific bands really. We all listen to a lot of different types of old and new hardcore and I think that gets brought to the table when it comes down to writing and structuring songs. For me personally, I like a lot of New York hardcore so there’s obviously going to be some of that influence in there. But Swamps has never really tried to go after a specific sound or genre of hardcore and I think (or hope) that’s what’s going to make us stick out as a band.

Are there any particular bands you have or would feel privileged to share a stage with?
Yeah absolutely. We’ve already gotten the pleasure of playing with a few of our current favourite bands such as Soul Search, Take Offense, Expire, Rude Awakening, Suburban Scum, etc. and that was really awesome. I myself am a huge fan of every band that’s on Reaper Records so obviously it would be great to play with any of those bands (Madball, Terror, Trapped Under Ice, Backtrack, Fire and Ice, Naysayer, etc).

What are your plans in the near future? Is there any chance you guys will be coming to the UK anytime soon?
This winter we are hopefully setting up a west coast tour and also in December we will be heading to Puerto Rico for a weekend so that should be awesome. We’ve been keeping in contact with a band called Spires who are from the UK and we’re possibly trying to set up a little tour over there in the near future. So yeah hopefully we’ll be over there soon, we’d love that.

Thank you for taking the time to do this interview, are there any other shout outs or comments you would like to make?
No problem, thank you for wanting to interview us and hopefully we’ll be making our way out to the UK sooner rather than later. Shout out to Frequency Deleted Records.

21 Aug 2012

Swamps: 'Seven Sides'

Swamps - Seven Sides

In 2011 Swamps, a hardcore band from Western Massachusetts released an EP titled Corroding Kings which to me was one of the top records of last year. I was very excited to hear they were releasing another record this year and finally they have just released Seven Sides. Just like their previous release the new record is just as fantastic and hard-hitting. Swamps just seem to have a sound of their own, mixing loads of different hardcore genres together to create a heavy powerhouse of a record. The structure of each track is unique and the vocal style of Andy is something that stands out to me, I have not heard a voice like his before and it shows good originality. The style of Swamps jumps between an old school punk sound, to a harder hitting style and you can sense a tinge of a New York hardcore influence too. I knew this record was going to be awesome and they have delivered a good quality record that brings something a little different to the hardcore scene.  

Seven Sides kicks off with the introduction track Bed of Thornes which has been released as a single. From the moment when the first guitar kicks in on this track you can tell this is going to be a heavier sounding record than their previous material and with the heavier sound  an angrier attitude has developed. I didn’t think these guys could get any angrier or crazier but this record proved me wrong.  The following track Drowning Dry seems to be the most popular favourite track from the audience and I have to agree with this.  There is such a catchy riff on the intro of this track and makes me want to just move around. The heavy down tuned guitar riffs and fast paced drums set the tempo for this track and towards the end it breaks out into a slower part with an incredibly angry vocal part which I absolutely love and this is followed by yet another catchy stomping riff. Even just listening to a couple of tracks, I was pretty set that this was going to be one of my favourite records of 2012.

The Other Side keeps the momentum going and the pace never slows from here on. There are a lot of two stepping type of riffs especially in the track Done Digging Holes but not too much that it gets repetitive. Every track on this record is alive with fire and passion and each song is as good as the next. There is good consistency within the song structures and the aggression is always there from Bed of Thorns until the final track Serpent which both have short sound clips. I particularly liked in this record as it sets the mood. This is a ruthless record and I wouldn’t have Swamps change anything on it as it is fantastic. Vocally and musically this album is very hard-hitting and vicious but remains original. Do yourself a huge favour and treat yourself to this record here

6 Aug 2012

Camden Carnage Tonight

If you're in London tonight then you need to get down to this show. I couldn't think of anything else better to do on a Monday evening. Doors are at 7pm and venue is Camden Underworld so make sure you get there early to catch the first band. If you don't know these bands then I suggest you have a listen and get yourself to this show.

4 Aug 2012

Rucktion Records Monthly Night

Make sure you get down to this one early as it's going to be a popular night. On this months show Reign Supreme are headlining and there are some awesome support bands. Doors are at 8pm I believe and it's 7 or 8 quid to get in so don't miss out on this. These following bands are playing, if you haven't heard them then check them out: