The Swellers – Running Out of Places to Go
Record Label: Unsigned
Release Date: October 16, 2012
I think I’m quite late when I say this, but I haven’t listened to Michigan pop-punk band The Swellers until now. I have listened to a little bit of them here and there, but never actually sat down and listened to a full album/EP by them until now. They left Fueled By Ramen last year to just be on their own without a label, and it really shows that they can do it. After releasing a 7” single entitled Vehicle City Blues, they’re back with the new EP Running Out of Places to Go. I’m quite new to this band, but I’m really surprised I never got into them sooner. They combine pop-punk with the Midwestern “emo” quite nicely; in all honesty, they sound like a mix between The Wonder Years and The Forecast. I like that sound quite a bit, and I also like the theme of the EP, too. The running theme throughout the EP is that the band is on their own, and they’re trying to make it on their own without a label. It’s about their determination, and throughout various points on the EP, they make references to it, which is pretty cool.
The EP starts off with first single, “Hands.” The band released this single a month or so ago, and it’s an insanely catchy song. Vocalist and guitarist Nick Diener has a very unique voice, and I love the chorus on this song: “Oh, I’m tired of something to change / And oh, I’m tired of writing for you to relate.” This is what I meant about the theme of determination and moving forward that’s on the EP. This is the first glimpse of it. Second track “Let Me In,” is a more “pop-punk” track, but it still continues what the first track was trying to do. Lyrically, this also continues that recurring theme I was talking about. Especially a lyric in the latter half of the song that goes, “I'm kinda scared to think that being on my own / Is the future set in stone for me / But all that I can see is I'm better off being alone/ I'm better off alone.” I really think these lyrics can apply in more than one situation, but they really give off the vibe that the band is trying to show. This EP is very lyrically driven. The lyrics really stand out here, and that’s the main part of the EP that I really enjoy. Everything else works quite well, but the lyrics I enjoy most of all. Third track “Bad for Me” doesn’t quite have this theme, but it still is a great track, nonetheless. On fourth track, “Making Waves,” the theme does come back, however. In all honesty, I think this EP is for the Swellers to say, “We don’t need a label,” but not in a very pretentious and rude way, either. The last track is the title track, “Running Out of Things to Say,” and this is my favorite track, and really, this is the track that brings it all together, especially at the very end. This is another bitter track, as the rest of the tracks are, but the end takes a very positive approach with the lyrics, “I miss my bed / But I can’t remember how it feels compared to yours or any other / But thank you for letting me into your home / I was running out of places to go.” Those appear in the chorus and are repeated in a chanting form until the very end. It’s a very optimistic ending to a very bitter EP.
Overall, this is an EP by a band that can easily hold their own, because they’ve made a lasting impression in the genre of music that they’re in. As a new fan, I’m happy to say I’ve found these guys at a very crucial point in their career.
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