Cincinnati thrash-pop band Swim Team’s debut tape contains your 12 new favorite songs. It starts with “Dirty Work,” a grunge firecraker with unstoppable vocals, unapologetic lyrics, fuzzed-out guitar riffs, and a mid-song monologue that grows from a borderline deranged mumble to a ferocious catharsis. From then on, the album never stops. Feedback gives way to crunchy, headbang-inducing guitar and the drums and bass turn already-catchy tunes into straight up earworms with their relentless grooves. Singer Lillian Currens’ vocals jump from a caustic monotone to effortlessly cool croons to raw no-bullshit yelps, often seemlessly in the same track. Swim Team sounds like they could break free from your speakers at any moment, knocking you off your feet and leaving you scrambling for more.
In less than 30 minutes, the album blasts through every emotion you’ve ever buried deep inside yourself. (Hell, “Chlorine Dream”’s warped promises of love only take 23 seconds to hook you in.) “I’m Fine” and “TV” perfectly capture the growing itch of little frustrations and people you can’t stand anymore, while “Reanimator” comes to terms with falling for someone who can’t seem to muster any normal human emotion. (“I’m in love with the living dead,” yells Currens in the chorus.) Swim Team’s quieter moments, like acoustic “Everything Went Wrong” and organ-filled “Closest Thing,” lament a love that could have been. By the time you get to “Teenage Mind” — an intimate reflection on the pains of growing up, with lines like “And I’m sorry that we grew up, I’m old enough now, I’ve seen enough world to know” floating over soft guitar — all you’ll want to do is hit repeat.
12/2 - Bloomington, IN @ The Blockhouse