Its official, Prog Rock is back and it’s hip; of course nobody wants to be labelled ‘prog’ ever lone the next Rush, Genesis, Yes or Supertramp. So I won’t, but I think you’ll find others will.
A Nottingham five-piece have already touted as “One To Watch” but these are far a whole Fellows, Morton & Clayton trip from Nottingham’s other ‘big noise’ band, The Soundcarriers.
Swimming comprises the combined talents of John Sampson (singer/guitar), brother Peter (drums), Andy Wright (samplers), Jonathan Spittlehouse (guitar) and Blake Pearson (bass) and they’ve produced their debut album and release on their own label, Colourschool,
I’ve not heard anything as good as ‘Panthalassa‘ since the Mars Volta a couple of years ago; yep, it’s that good! Even Artrocker compared them to Pollock (Jackson I take it as opposed to the type of sea fish). As an aside, The Mars Volta’s new album, Octahedron is proving to be a bit of a grower.
But back to Swimming, they seem to like the fish/water/the elements and the next track after ‘ Panthalassa’ is called ‘Tiger Shark’. And then there’s another called ‘Ease Down The River’ and along with ’9: Sky Open’ there’s a Peter Gabriel/Genesis period meets Steve Hillage wind-chime-esque feel. This all start to sound a bit “concept” mindset to me but thankfully, the title track and the other track on the single (‘Crash The Current‘) blasts that one out on its ear as it’s power prog with proper guitar solos
This group would have been brilliant at the Hop Farm Festival the other week but as it goes, their next gig is at the multi-genre Lovebox Festival (on 19th July at Victoria Park, East London) so it’ll be interesting to get reports (unfortunately, I won’t be either at Lovebox or the Gilles Peterson Jazz Dance Beyond The Ballroom gig that weekend as, by totally coincidence, I’ll be swimming for charity; see links below)
On the back of Rob da Bank’s shoegazing compilation, Swimming are like power shoegazing, especially when they up the tempo with tracks like ‘Crescents’; “I Killed The Aphids” (?)
I’m trying to get these guys to the ears of Carlos “cosmic love from Califorian” Nino but they might be too modern for him but even so, there’s lots to love about Swimming and after being slam-dunked by a wave onto shingle at the weekend, this is more than a happy alternative, especially ‘All In Time To The Shoreline’.
Remember swimming is dangerous, respect the power of nature and “with ears, eyes and tongue” saviour this album as you close your eyes.
Reviewed: Swimming – The Fireflow Trade (Colourschool Records) Release date: 22nd June 2009
1 Panthalassa (6:05)
2 Tiger Shark (3:06)
3 9 : Sky Open (3:52)
4 Ease Down The River (3:36)
5 Crash The Current (4:39)
6 Crescents (6:58)
7 Eagle Aviary (4:38)
8 All In Time To The Shoreline (4:36)
9 Fireflow Trade (5:26)
the-fly.co.uk Levi’s One To Watch p7 Mishca Pearlman
Bournemouth Pier to Pier Swim 2009 www.bhf.org.uk