SWIRL are an up and coming hard rock band from southern California. While keeping a fresh sound to their formula, they truly are like a pure rock 'n' roll band. Some may call them modern hard rock, or pop metal, but as I'm a minimalist when it comes to defining genres, I'll just call them rock n' roll.
SWIRL's 2013 debut, self-titled EP delivers 7 quality tracks that show you their potential. From several listens through the EP as a whole I can say these guys are a band about positive vibes, uplifting lyrical themes, old-fashioned hooks, solid musicianship and just letting the good times roll. They fuse solid grooves, memorable riffs, and skilled technical abilities into a modern heavy rock 'n roll product. Vocally their singer has a tone and pitch that reminds me of Sammy Hagar, so any 'Red Rocker' fans out there might want to pay attention... Each song has something to offer, and I'll touch a bit on each one now... along with a memorable or catchy lyric from each as well.
Fourth of July - * The EP opens with a straight-up hard rocker. A mid-tempo, classic groove sets the tone of this song about a hot babe that '...lights me up like it's the Fourth of July!'. My favorite line has to be when the singer says, "Like Johnny Cash, for you, girl I'll walk the line."
Spell - Fantastic and groovy bass intro on this one. The bass guitar continues to drive this song throughout. 'Breaking from your spell' is a lyrical analogy for seeing the true side of someone in a bad relationship.
"You got your money but you ain't got no soul..."
Rise Up - This is another song that has a classic rock 'n roll feel. Carries a theme of true self-empowerment and anti-entitlement...
"We gotta take back what we own. We're the kings and the queens of this world..."
We Are Alive - * This one's a little harder, little faster. It's built on a great catchy riff, but really pulled me in with the anthemic key-change at the 2 minute mark!
"Realize that we are human beings, not robots or machines."
Message - * A cool echo-effect at the start of this one makes it catchy from the start. It is a slow-tempo, heavy number, and the vocalist employs a scratchy, raspier tone to his voice. It almost seems like it could be post-grunge, and reminiscent of Candlebox.
"You gotta take a stand, no one's gonna hold your hand..."
Time to Fly - *** Hands down, this is my favorite track on this EP. Primarily played in a minor key, it transitions to an uplifting theme at the choruses, and strings come in to compliment the song.
"They tell her that she's wasting her time, losing her mind, better get back in line and follow the blind."
Mad Disease - A darker and heavier number again, perhaps the heaviest offering on this mostly mainstream rock recording. The lyrics of this one depict an anti-drug theme.
"Needle to vein, there's no more pain. You had the world at your feet, now you're falling from grace..."
SWIRL have opened for a number of well known metal bands from the 80's and 90's, and if the chance arises that they play somewhere in the midwest, I look forward to possibly catching them live... follow them on their facebook page to keep up with their tour schedule.