MySpace Review – Swanee River

Ladies and gentlemen, it’s Friday! Anyone love the fact that this day just never gets’s old? Tickets There always associates Friday with hard rock because it just seems like the perfect day to enjoy the sounds of hard, electric riffs, dirty swaggering vocals and intensity. Like the anticipation for the night to come or something, hard rock just defines the possibilities awaiting you, if you choose to dive in head first.

To celebrate the greatest day of the week, Tickets There has decided to finally review a band we found (with the help of the Soni Festival line-up announcement) a few days ago, The Swanee River. Formed in 2004, the guys are based in Derry and ever since hitting the scene they seem to have picked up a considerable amount of positive press form publications such as Hotpress & Classic Rock (easily the greatest music magazine on the market – except for the fact they’ve gone all ultra-sleek and a tad over photo-shopped and bland) and once again Tickets There is shocked we haven’t heard of them before, really need to start reading about newer bands rather than just focusing on Def Leppard. Anyways, we’re here now and after a hesitant start, it didn’t take long for first song, Take Me Away to, well – take us away (see what we did there?)

As usual, we haven’t seen the band live or heard their record.

After the full frontal rock attack Million$Reload carried out on our ear drums, the opening of Take Me Away didn’t exactly smack us in the face. We’ll happily admit that we were in a total hard rock buzz but fortunately we stuck through and carried on listening, Only forty three seconds later we were hit with one of the best hard rock choruses out there. The verse is stripped back, filled with bass melodies and guitars thrown into the background but once that chorus jumps in, its full speed ahead as the band pile drive ‘s through your speakers. Half way through, the structure changes and the song becomes a much bigger monster than you could have imagined. Rather the repeat the chorus ten times which would have been acceptable, the band break off into swooping gusts of classic rock riffs, guitars solo’s and vocal harmonies. This one goes on the play list.  

Made In The Shade is more of a typical classic rock album track. It’s upbeat and much more relaxed, mellowed out in comparison to Take Me Away. Although the extreme and ‘change’ elements aren’t there, the song remains really enjoyable and easy to listen to. There’s a lovely chill-axed vide to the band’s sound that would keep any rock fan happy.

Third song, Cold opens with a nice crisp blues riff. Overall it’s pretty similar to Made In The Shade except the style is more bluesy, jammy. Not bad at all but hasn’t managed to keep our attention on anywhere near the same level as Take Me Away. Fear not though, we have several more to go.

Travelin’ Man Superband is a heartfelt sing along, blues rock ballad. As ballads go it’s fine but very formulaic. To pull these tracks off properly, Hard rock bands have to add something extra and special to make them stand out. Swanee River have some nice backing vocals, the music flows well and, like all good ballads, you could see some good looking girl sitting at a piano in a dark, fashionable bar on stage with nothing but a piano, pull it off well. The chorus grows on you throughout the track and they don’t drag the harmonies out to the point of exhaustion.

Oh, we missed one, forth song Baby Better Lady sees the lads getting g back to what they do best, balls to the mother f**kin’wall rock! Now, we may have been less enthusiastic about some of the bands material but that’s really only because we want lots of Baby Better Ladies rather than seventies arena rock. Baby Better Lady is a heart racing, foot stomping heavy anthem. The guitars jump straight back to the front where they belong, the chorus is fist raising catchy fun and once again the band thrown in some nice changes half way though. The solo is one of the best we’ve heard in a good while and the singers vocals just jump from extreme to another. One second they’re cool, Paul Rodgers style and next minute Axl Rose is sticking a mike stand up your ass. Brilliant track!

Don’t Follow Me is second last and it’s an acoustic blues country number. This is actually a song we spent most of Wednesday listening to due to a mixture of trying to remember what it reminded us of and because it’s just a nice, cool song. Stevie Horner’s vocals are just incredible, not just here but on all the tracks. The different styles, notes and speeds he’s able to reform at are a credit and the band’s music perfectly suits his voice. Real easy going song to chill out to.

Richter Scale brings us to the end of our play list and to finish things off, the band perform a melody of Gilbert O’Sullivan hits with pan pipes….do they fu*k. Richter Scale is a toe tappin’, shot drinking slice of Louisiana bourbon, heavy pounding rock n roll. It’s actually a sweet mix of styles like those heard on Baby Better Lady and Made in the Shade. Heavy, fast rock n roll with all the jam, funk and ‘coolness’ of the seventies sound the band play so well.

Listening to these guys will make you happy. If you’re already happy, they’ll make you pumped, make you walk straight out of work, go find a bar, flip off the bar man, stick on a CD, up the volume and rock out for the day. Now ya can’t ask for any more than that on a Friday can ya?

Check out their MySpace now by Clicking Here!


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