Favorite

The Swigs: Let It Come Down (Sapient) 

Kevin Henderson and his band, the Swigs, obviously adore classic and progressive rock, but it comes off as experimental and challenging, rather than passé. The band's no-holds-barred attitude, combining noisy jams and instrumental virtuosity, sounds inventive even in this postmodern age of information overload.

The group both nods to and challenges the conventions of classic power trios such as Cream and Led Zeppelin on the title track and the scorching "Freak Flag," a celebration of the almighty riff, but the heavy blues-funk approach is leavened by a lightness of being. At the same time, the more garage-pop-oriented "Everybody's Saying" has a crunchy, driving groove. While guitarist and vocalist Henderson tears it up on every tune, credit must go to drummer Blaine Rybke and bassist Mark Witt, who constitute a limber and versatile rhythm section.

The standout cut is "Ploughed in the Stars," a six-minute epic during which Henderson's guitar seems to meld prog with Celtic music. It smokes something fierce, and in the middle, the band drops into acoustic mode with an adaptation of the traditional number "Jack of Diamonds."

The album closes with "Imaginary Western" parts I and II, through which Henderson weaves his guitar, applying everything from jazzy harmolodics to bluesy psychedelia. This excellent disc will engage thoughtful rock fans in search of something fresh.

More by Gene Armstrong

  • Primer

    Tony Furtado
    • May 29, 2014
  • Wills Meets Reinhardt

    L.A.'s Cow Bop blends bebop and Western swing into a superbly danceable combo
    • May 22, 2014
  • Finding (the Eighth) Mr. Right

    Superb performances drive the '60s satire of Live Theatre Workshop's Loot
    • May 15, 2014
  • More »

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Latest in Rhythm & Views

  • Rhythm & Views

    American Monoxide “In Flight Mode” (People In A Position To Know)
    • Dec 18, 2014
  • Rhythm & Views

    Wight Lhite “Beyond the Satellites” (Paisley Shirt Records)
    • Dec 11, 2014
  • More »

Most Commented On

  • Don't Forget the Coop

    Interview with Alice Cooper
    • Jun 15, 2017
  • Battle Acts: Sgt. Pepper Then vs. Sgt. Pepper Now

    We have no Summer of Love to ponder, no Vietnam War to protest, no miracle drug that's going to save us. But we do have an unpopular president and Sgt. Pepper to marvel over all over again. It's not the same, but it kinda is, and that's about the best splendid time that can be guaranteed for all in 2017.
    • Jun 8, 2017
  • More »

Facebook Activity

© 2017 Tucson Weekly | 7225 Mona Lisa Rd. Ste. 125, Tucson AZ 85741 | (520) 797-4384 | Powered by Foundation