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First Take: SWMRS – ‘Drive North’

SWMRS know a thing or two about escape and debut album ‘Drive North’ is their getaway vehicle. Following on from the wistful observational of ‘Miley’ and the trial by fire ‘Figuring It Out’ comes a track with single-minded determination.

Drive North’ sways from side to side with threatening menace as the bullet-point vocals snarl an in-depth list of why Los Angeles sucks. As the weight of their argument grows, so does their determination to tear it all apart. Two minutes into the track and SWMRS are on their knees, screaming at the sky. We end with the shotgun instruction to “drive north” hammered out over and over, as the band smash the room, destroy the recordings and yell “fuck you” at anyone left listening.

It’s brash, bratty and teeters on the edge of self-destruction but SWMRS take that venom and make it gold. On the surface “Drive North” is simply a vessel for West-Coast frustrations but there are bigger horizons at play here. The track isn’t geographically restricted, instead it see the band offering vicious encouragement to escape the shadows of whatever is hanging over you.

This is SWMRS pulling up outside. Get in the car, buckle up, don’t look back and let’s drive north.
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