Saturday 11 June 2022

Swarm - Swarm (EP Review)

Release Date: June 8th 2022. Record Label: 918 Records. Format: CD/DD

Swarm - S/T - Tracklisting

1.Nevermore 07:04

2.There Again 07:10

3.Frail 05:23

4.We Should Know 08:44


Hilja Vedenpää – Vocals

Panu Willman – Guitar, Vocals

Dani Paajanen – Drums

Einari Toiviainen – Guitar

Leo Lehtonen – Bass


Swarm plays a blend of Shoegaze, Grunge, Stoner, Fuzz and Doom with Alt Rock tendencies. That only tells half the story with Swarm actually playing Doomgaze or Stonergaze on this release. Shoegaze and Grunge don't normally go together so well but Swarm is the exception to the rule with their debut self titled release.

The EP features four tracks packed with superb vocal harmonies and musical melodies that venture past the boundaries of Shoegaze into heavier FUZZIER and WEEDIAN based grooves. The Alt Rock/Alt-Metal atmosphere of the release does bring a 90’s feeling to this EP but its the FUZZ ROCK tone that allows Swarm to really impress.

Opening song Nevermore is a song that weaves sounds from multiple different eras and decades of Hard Rock and Metal but employing a modern day based Psych Doom/Stoner Metal/Shoegaze structure. Even when Swarm started playing 60’s and 70’s style Hard Rock riffs into play. You feel you’re listening to a different band. This is a wickedly clever and complex song but one that makes you feel right at home and that’s down to the sublime vocals from Hilja and Panu that appear on the record.

Second song There Again adds a Blues Rock/Soulful vibe with delicate vocals yet again with the gloomy Post-Doom guitars slowly playing in the background. The distorted FUZZY Shoegaze effects brings a heavier sound with Swarm playing a soulful style of Classic Rock at the same time. The song does move further down the Doom/Stoner “Rabbit Hole” with some of the record’s heaviest and standout sounds.

The final two songs Frail and We Should Know allows Swarm to impress folks further with their epic blend of Grungy and FUZZ based guitars. Frail is more a semi acoustic offering and it’s good to see Swarm play a different style of music which is more self assured and perhaps laidback. Though, Swarm still adds traces of Ambient Noises with Psych and Stoner Rock moments appearing when they need to. 

We Should Know is the standout track on the EP with Swarm playing to their strengths with the Alt-Rock vibe being the main focus of the song at the start. However, Swarm soon return to their Doomgaze/Stonergaze sound in a big way with Heavy FUZZ Rock riffs merging with a more adventurous Psych Rock flourish. The song has a thunderous middle section when a Droned Out Doom part appears out of nowhere. The EP becomes more violent with huge waves of Amplifier Distortion before settling down for a quieter style of music. There’s an undercurrent of heavy sludgy grooves matched brilliantly well against the emotionally charged vocals yet again.

Swarm’s self-titled release is stunning and wonderfully creative from start to finish. 

I can sum up this release in one word - OUTSTANDING.

Add this to your record collection. As it’s a serious EPIC release in every sense of the word. 

Words by Steve Howe


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