By Rob Duguay
Here’s a challenge for anyone reading this: I bet that you can’t find a better lyricist in Providence than Sean Murphy. Some people might laugh at that statement but I will stand by it until my last day, he’s the true poet laureate of the Providence music scene and the intelligence of his words can’t be equaled. You probably know him as the raging ball of fury during his time as the lead singer of the revolutionary hardcore punk band Verse, but he currently has this really cool alt-punk band called Bad Swimmers that have their debut album See You currently out. In the vein of acts like Sebadoh, Built To Spill, Heatmiser and Jawbreaker, this piece of music combines those complex styles while still being able to hit you like a boxing glove to the face. Joined by Dylan Kulpa on alternating guitar, Mark Ducharme on bass and Jeff Novak on drums, Murphy still brings out his trademark emotional intensity while the band possess a captivating emphatic sound. A refreshing album that is all full of blood, sweat and tears, Bad Swimmers’ new album promises to be another one of those masterpieces to come out of The Creative Capital in 2013.
Along with Murphy writing the songs and lyrics, he also handled all the recording and mastering of the album as well. If that isn't a complete DIY effort on a fantastic album then I don't know what is, you'll meet people in life that just like to talk about it while Murphy is one of those people that just does it. The proof is in the results, once you give See You a spin I promise you'll be amazed at the quality of the tracks along with each one having a distinct meaning. The old-school lo-fi aesthetic of the album can make your average 40 year old artsy fellow feel nostalgic while any punk can appreciate how real and raw the band's approach is. What I love about See You the most that it shows that Murphy isn't afraid to try something new while still staying true to his roots.
Ready for some Turkey? Or if you don’t eat dead bird how about some Tofurkey? The streets and sidewalks of the New England urban sprawl are covered with the Autumn leaves and you gotta love those ugly sweaters. Even though I saw a guy a skirt the other day, or was it a kilt? Either way he must have been pretty cold. So get that fireplace burning, maybe even buy a bag of marshmallows and nestle with the top tracks off of my Album Of The Week. It might not be as filling as that Thanksgiving dinner you’re craving, but it’s more of a helping when it comes to satisfying your musical taste. Anyways get the Cranberry stuffing ready, here goes something:
That infectious drum beat and Murphy speaking real truth in "Scrape"make the track a raucous anthem that tells it like it is. The slow beginning followed up with an explosion in “Wash Away”, alternating between the silence and amplification bring out a Pixies vibe that I dig. I don’t know if that’s what they were going for but the song makes your eardrums jump form joy. There’s something timeless about “Forcing Something”, it definitely is the track with the most pop but the rhythms really reach out in astounding fashion. If you’re looking for that Lou Barlow type tone, look no further than “Last Time”. I wonder how many times Bad Swimmers listened to Sebadoh’s Bakesale before playing this one. If they did or didn’t, the essence of the track makes me love it even more. Are you not entertained? Do you still want more? Then rest easy with the fact that Bad Swimmers is fantastic from the 1st track onward.
Bad Swimmers will be celebrating the release of See You at AS220 on November 23rd on 115 Empire Street in Providence with Darklands, Steve Layman, Bloodpheasant & Little Big League joining the stage. You definitely have to go because it'll absolutely be one of the coolest shows you're going to see this year. While you're waiting and working for the weekend, get yourself a copy of Bad Swimmers' See You. It grabs your soul and rips apart the demons inside, musical therapy for the strong person in all of us.