Once you see New Swears play live, or watch one of their many music videos, you start to wonder if they don’t party a bit. They dabble, let’s say! From the depths of the depraved Fun Boy Clubhouse, their sophomore album is a testament to drugs, drinking, sex and partying. What else would you expect from these lost boys? Classifying their sound as garage or punk isn’t wrong but it’s the easy way out. New Swears simply play music about being hooligans and do so with catchy riffs, claps and sing-alongs. If there was a surfer culture in Ottawa they might provide the soundtrack, until they tarred & feathered the surfers and ran them out of town.
The second song on the album, “Main Stream,” clearly states their case: “And some band already did that but we don’t really give a shit/We’re just having way too much fun to care about the bullshit.” Very few lines on the album speak truer of the band. From snowboarding down stairs and crushing brews to partying on their roof and stick & poke tattoos — not many bands seem to be having as much fun as these guys.
They do, however, still come up for air. Going in the complete opposite direction is the last track on the album, which strangely features xylophone and saxophone. “No Fun” is the reality check after the chaos of chugging, snorting, staying up late, chasing prostitutes, and losing love in the earlier songs. “Wondering how long it’s gonna take to make a man out of me/I lost my love and lost my mind/I am 23 this wasn’t meant to be… I’d rather be fucked than be myself.”
Sobering lyrics like that and you might think the boys are growing up. Come find out for yourself this Saturday night at Gabba Hey! for the Junkfood Forever, Bedtime Whatever album release party. Ottawa Explosion is presenting this Arboretum afterparty which will also feature WTCHS, The Dirty Nil & Greys. It’s also slated to be the last chance to see New Swears before they embark on their premiere European tour for three months. Let’s give them a proper send off, eh? Just in case they are incarcerated in a French dungeon.