‘Berkeley’s On Fire’ sounds like the kind of party that would be happening with or without you.
Much is the sentiment behind SWMRS’ smart and sassy style of punk-rock, an innately cool quartet formed in Oakland, California.
What feels so fresh about the four-piece is the defiance that radiates from anything they produce, served with bucket loads of charisma and effortless technical ability.
‘Don’t tell me how to sing this song, because I’ve got everything that it takes,’ the ‘Too Much Coffee’ lyrics sing out, with vocals that dance delightfully over buzzing guitars and an overarching indie melody that rings straight into single ‘Trashbag Baby’, equally over-charged with bouncy riffs and duel vocal hooks.
The carnival of beats continues throughout the entirety of the record, teamed with subtly-distorted vocals on ‘Lose Lose Lose’ and hints of nostalgia which whirl around ‘Lonely Ghosts’ and ‘Hellboy’.
Whether its fuelled by distaste at modern music (“Modern music makes me sick” – ‘April In Houston’) or society-induced boredom, or something entirely more personal, the result is SWMRS’ most self-assured offering to date.
It’s inspiring, without being pushy, and seemingly cheeky without being desperate or dull. It’s unique and entirely representative of the four musicians at its helm.