Music » Album Review

CD Review: Swell Friends' Dizzy

Independent; Release Date: March 22, 2015



There's a splash of feedback as drums roll in and guitars scramble to find their way. Twelve seconds later, singer Robby Hartis chimes, his vocals building from singing to screaming, a hardcore cacophony charges forward behind him. Less than a minute and a half later, the song, "So Deep," crashes to a close. It's a far more energetic and raw cut than appeared on their 2014 EP, Circles, coming off more as a live take than the previous, more-polished version.

Swell Friends' opening salvo has made a quick impression for what's to come on their sophomore EP, Dizzy. Hartis, guitarist Daniel Hodges, bassist Ryan Southwell and drummer Jesse Soper rifle through the album's six songs in just over 13 minutes.

Some of the songs come close to the sonic brutality of Every Time I Die. "Lightning Bugs" could be an outtake from ETID's The Big Dirty with its pummeling pace and screamed lyrics. Hodges, who has produced bands from Hectorina to Serfs and Matthew Paul Butler, goes beyond power chords to bring added depth to the songs while Southwell and Soper often dictate the pace, as evidenced on "Graveyard."

It's a far cry from the vocals Hartis did with his late 2000s band The Lights Fluourescent, but is deeper in his wheelhouse, given his sonic influences that lean more toward heavier rock and hardcore. Dizzy shows off the band's solid foundations and contains the rough edges you'd expect that weren't present on Circles.

The band will celebrate the release of Dizzy with a show at the Milestone on March 22.

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