2 October 2015
If there was one criticism that could be made of Swim Deep’s (mostly) excellent debut album Where The Heaven Are We, it was that the wishy-washy nostalgia pop was somewhat lacking in depth; inoffensive and pleasant enough, yet almost certainly playing on the side of safe (presumably to keep record labels and radio stations on side.) No such criticism can possibly be made of their follow up, Mothers, released earlier this month.
Everything about the Birmingham-four piece’s second full length LP is bigger, bolder and better. Things have become very, very weird, and in a good way. Gone are the baggy b-town quintessential indie vibes, replaced by a raw, more complex and distinctly psychedelic reverb. It’s an exercise in self-indulgence, and a huge gamble, but one that pays of spectacularly.
Mothers is quite literally staggering in its ambition, littered with everything from catchy-pop numbers such as the irresistible ‘To My Brother’ and 90s halcyonian album highlight ‘Namaste’, to sci-fi acid house-inspired tracks such as ‘Fueiho Boogie’ – an eight and a half minute epic attacking the recently lifted Fueiho law banning dancing in Japanese clubs. The track is as worthy a shape throwing number as any other on the record.
The entire album is a glittering infusion of a whole plethora of styles and influences, drawing on the band’s experiences touring across the globe. It manages to straddle every genre between techno and shoegaze, and yet still presents what ought to be a distorted, fractured mess in a beautifully playful manner. The end product is something that wouldn’t sound out of place had it been produced in any of the last four decades, such is the variety and profundity hidden within.
Austin Williams and co. have thrown the kitchen sink into this record, and served up a musical feast that transcends their genre and pushes new bounds. A genuine game changer.