Swab: Big City 12"
Swab: Big City 12"

Swab: Big City 12"

Tags: · 20s · australia · hardcore · hcpmf
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Melbourne hc punk unit SWAB are back with 14 tracks of manic rage. Following hot on the heels of their “Small World” EP by Wintergarden Records, SWAB continues to successfully blend early 80s east coast US/ Japanese HC in the vein of Jerry’s Kids, The Comes, Urban Waste etc. These tracks are so fast; one might think the record is played at the wrong speed. Play loud and thrash the room!!!

Our take: You’ll know whether Big City, the debut LP from Melbourne, Australia’s Swab, is for you after about ten seconds. The record opens with a careening five-second guitar lead that knocks the listener off balance, then drops right into a rapid-fire vocal that hits just as hard, but from the opposite direction. That’s the story for all eighteen minutes of Big City, a record that bangs you around like an old shoe in a dryer. The label’s description mentions Jerry’s Kids, an appropriate reference since the fast parts in Swab songs sound like a building falling in on you, drum fills raining down like falling bricks, and just when you get your bearings there’s a rhythmic change and the wrecking ball comes at you from the other direction. It’s not all thrash and bash, though. The vocals have this snotty, sassy vibe that reminds me of Judy & the Jerks, keeping the dense and often dissonant music from getting overbearingly bleak. Another band the label’s description references is the Comes, and while tracks like “Spit on Me” have a similar buoyancy, they’re generally followed up with something like “Cool Life” that pushes into gnarlier Siege-type territory. It’s a wild ride, recommended for anyone who craves hardcore that’s drives relentlessly forward without losing its chaotic, nihilistic energy.