After being introduced to them a year and a half ago, I saw the appeal of SWMRS, but that didn’t necessarily appeal to me. With their new album, “Drive North” that’s changed. The updated version of California pop mixed with surf rock and a ton of punk rock – it’s a formula that I’ve never heard before and one that I’m thoroughly impressed with on “Drive North.” I’ve been listening to the album for more than ten days straight – I can’t stop listening to it.
Drive North – produced by FIDLAR frontman Zac Carper - is a throwback album. It’s not front loaded with good songs and not much else. It’s a great ALBUM that’s filled with good songs, then it has excellent songs spattered throughout too. For once, the best track isn’t the first track on the album – they’re all in the middle of the set – how they’re supposed to be.
“Drive North” is impressive for a number of reasons. Of course it’s an actual album and not just random songs thrown together, that’s a big reason why music lovers should love it. For me though, this album is good because of how musically intelligent these guys are and where they’re influences are coming from. We hear a lot of 80s inspired stuff in this era, sometimes too much, with SWMRS we’re hearing everything from the Beach Boys to the Sex Pistols. It’s an amazing mix of music that works extremely well – especially in the middle of the album. Favorites on the album include the single “Figuring it Out” and “Ruining My Pretending.” There’s something cool about the band’s (sort-of) love song to Miley Cyrus too, “Miley” is another outstanding track on the record.
SWMRS makes a huge label debut with “Drive North”. It’s a great album that’s launched its way onto my list of favorites. It’s smart and funny, and anything but conventional. Give this a shot if you haven’t already.