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Swift Ships - Rebel Renaissance Review

by Gisele Grignon

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Consumer alert: unless you are or are engaged to a Bridezilla, or you espouse a particularly dense shade of dark humor (and if you answered in the affirmative to either of the first two scenarios, then you'll need every shred of that humor for the life that awaits you, but I digress) Swift Ship's Wedding Day shouldn't top your reception band's play list. This New York-based band is made up of last-name-less members: Ken: lead and background vocals, rhythm acoustic and bass guitar, Marshall: electric, rhythm, acoustic and bass guitar, backing vocals and keyboards, and Memphis: drums, percussion and back vocals. "Wedding Day"'s deliciously warped and all the more unconventional thanks to Ken's voice: a combination of comfy plush slippers and no. 4 (okay, maybe no.6) sandpaper, cozy and gritty all at the same time. There's some especially tasty fret work here too. "Gunslinger", the second track, also showcases some excellent musicianship, with more than a taste-test sampling of the bygone psychedelic era's warblings. Vocals here too are equally appealing: think the Fray's Isaac Slade (post elocution lessons) and Supernova frontman Lucas Rossi and his trademark personal and guttural bravado.

Swift Ships enters calmer seas with the hypnotic staccato lyrics and gear and mood-changing melody of "Miss Susan". It's short and sweet and a welcome change of pace from the previous in-your-face, hey-look-at-me-NOW tracks. For an instrumental showcase, "Nice Guy" is your man. It does open with lyrics but it's likely the instrumentals you'll remember from this subtle yet undeniably invigorating track. Same could be said of the picking on "Tell it to the preacher." Swift Ships charts a darker, quietly sadder, more vulnerable course with "Hopeless Kid". Lyrically, this one reflects the challenging but all- too-common realities of abuse: "I didn't want to be no one's stepson…All the vengeance in the world is a drop in the cup. When you thirst for your own life to be through". Yet musically, with its emotional swells and dramatic chord changes "Hopeless Kid" is tinged with optimism, determination and yes, maybe even hope. No small feat to tackle let alone accomplish in just one track. Swift or slow, this is one ship worth a visit if it docks in a port near you.


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Swift Ships - Rebel Renaissance

Label:New Boy Records
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