CD Review – The Swallows: Demystified
Demystified is a bit, well, mystifying. The record opens with a blast of cognitive dissonance: guitars that hearken back to when you couldn’t throw a rock at Pitchfork’s reviews section without hitting the word “angular”, not-quite-disco drums, and shouty, anthemic vocals. It’s not exactly what you’d expect from Glenn Milchem, the drummer of Blue Rodeo. In fact, as the record goes on, it sounds even less like Milchem’s day job – and, truth be told, as the record goes on, it sounds less like The Clash and Gang of Four, the bands Milchem cites as influences – instead coming across remarkably like latter-day material by The Wedding Present, though without David Gedge’s knack for lyrics. Songs like opener “Shoot Out Sparks” and jazzy, vibraphone-heavy “The One Who Got Away” sound like tunes you might hear out of a band you’ve never heard of opening a packed show at a mid-level venue, and that’s by no means a bad thing. Like a set by one of those bands, Demystified isn’t mind-blowing, but it’s an unexpectedly pleasant surprise.