V // Independent
The new record from Vancouver based trio Swim Team roars to life with angular guitar riffs and has art-rock chops to spare. The album keeps the all the same manic energy from 2016’s Out of the Flood, but dials in a slightly cleaner, and less live sound. This choice serves the fairly mathy material perfectly; songs that are rhythmically complex like “Brick” come across well, and all the songs benefit from the precision in both the performances and the mixes. “Rabbit” is one of a couple of more downtempo moments, and uses the warmth of 12-string guitars and a vocal line lower in lead singer Dorothy Neufeld’s range to contrast the colder and more calculated songs on the tracklisting. The changes of feel on “Cardinal” are a good example of how this calculation is far from a bad thing, and it pays off over and over again across the record. On V, Swim Team have perfected their unique blend of danceable art-rock with jagged punk energy to make for their best release yet.
- Sean Newton