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The Swayback
Long Gone Lads
(self-released)
www.theswayback.com


The rock trio The Swayback have mysterious sounding vocals from lead singer/bass guitarist Eric Halborg and eerie reverberating kinks along the glossy melodic channels delivering a dance rock make-up relatable to The Killers and the dark brooding hues of Editors. The Swayback's new CD, Long Gone Lads, has a new wave sonorous with dashes of Brit-pop accents and synth-textured trimmings made by the guitar blades of William Murphy with stubs of vibrating mallets from drummer Martijn Bolster that feel like Joy Division. The songs' border on the esoteric while splattered in synth-pop solutions tuned to a melodic broil.

The band's dance rock flourishes have a glossy sheen like in "What A Pity" and the funky rock grooves enhance the jostling movements in the chord rotations through "Vampires In The Mirror." Their song "Just Like The Old Days" has a country-folk base with an electro-pop veneer that gives the tune a homey feel and a chic sound. The lyrics express feelings of resignation and surrendering to the forces that be in verses like "We burn brightly / We tread lightly / Conjure rock spirits and deliver it nightly / Just like the old days only better / There ain't no need to rush / The bridges done burned down / Just like the old days only better / We don't mind at all / We're way past the last show." There is such a loss of hope and crestfallen sentiment portrayed in the lyrical content, but the music is the total opposite, floating above the ground and acting as a glorious suspending cloud that rests the weary vocals while setting the melodic sails to move ahead.

Halborg's vocals have an ominous chime ringing through "Concrete Blocks" like a ghostly apparition, while the funky reggae tones wafting along "Queen's Dance" slip in shades of brightness along the song's dark synth-rock chambers. There's a brassy film that lines the sonic coils and synth-textured décor as echoing drumbeats are suspended and funnels of floating guitar vibrations run rampant. The music feels ghostly and intangible, yet it's in tune to the frequency of daily life relating to the worries, the insecurities, and the uncertainty that plagues everyday life.

The Swayback's music has a familiarity to '80s new wave and 2000's synth-rock blends. Produced by Andrew Vastola and The Swayback, Long Gone Lads has equal proportions of dark and light shades so lairs of macabre tones are blotted in weightless sensations. The glassy textures are robed in rolling beats and softly furnaced chord vibrations, which soar into glorious blazes. The music is mysterious sounding and tunes into the rhythms of everyday life with natural inclines moving in that direction.

-Susan Frances

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