[Album Review] New Swears- And The Magic of Horses
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Release Date: June 23rd, 2017
Label: Dine Alone Records
On And the Magic of Horses, New Swears give us the gift of carefree, jangly power pop anthems with one thing in mind: having the time of your life. On their third full-length (but first for Dine Alone Records), their DIY garage rock gets a little bit of studio sheen, but never loses sight of the raw rock energy that marked standout albums like Junk Food Forever Bedtime Whatever.

It’s truly a bunch of songs that don’t take themselves too seriously, though that shouldn’t be mistaken for a lack of attention to writing good hooks. The album is peppered with acoustic guitars, melodic gang vocals and even a funny voicemail or two (“Cry a Lot”). The album opener, “Dance with the Devil” sets the party rock tone for the album right off the bat, but also has lyrics that delve into the kind of self-reflection that was sort of missing from previous efforts (“It’s not hard to find friends on a Saturday night / Spend your whole life thinking you’re one of a kind”). The album has other insightful musings on topics like friendship and what happens when the party’s over, like on the xylophone-tinged optimism of “Comfortably Hungover” or on the rollicking indie pop rock of “777”.

The critical self-reflection on “Cry a Lot”, accompanied by harmonic backing vocals, is a standout on the album – the opening lines alone are worth repeat listens. Some of their songs reach deeper into their punk leanings, like “Warm Bodies”, which seems to be destined to get the mosh pit moving at their shows. The album closer, “Walkin’ to Rockin’”, puts the focus squarely on their desire to keep making music and doing it for the right reasons. It’s an interesting parting thought when you contemplate the fact that underneath their party punk vibes and reputation, this a band that’s making the transition from DIY to a label. Maybe taking things more seriously isn’t so bad after all.