19 Jan 2021
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Swallow the Rat - Single Review: Bird Of Ill

27 Feb 2020 // A review by Corinne Rutherford

Perennial live favourites, Auckland based Swallow The Rat have released their latest single Bird Of Ill. A grungy psychedelic track, heavy with Surf Punk guitar riffs and repetitive yet dark lyrics telling a tale of self-loathing, addiction and relationships.

Formed in 2017, Swallow The Rat have been hard out recording and touring both in New Zealand and abroad performing multiple shows in Austin Texas where some band members hail from. 2020 also sees them heading back stateside to perform at New Colossus Festival in NYC, and South By Southwest Festival as part of a US tour, spreading their distinctive blend of NZ Post-Punk and Texan Psychedelia.

Bird Of Ill, is the first single to be released off the bands forthcoming album Leaving Room. It has been described as a “deliciously jangly-yet-ominous” track which is accompanied by an obscurant retro video.

Failing to grab my attention the first time, Bird Of Ill grew on me after several rounds of blaring into my brain. This was one of those songs that the more I heard it, the more I liked it.

At a run time of 4.05 minutes you get a decent length single of interestingly layered instrumentals and vocals. Slick guitar with the added depth of bass builds into a crescendo of sound towards the end. Accompanied by tight drumming from Hayden Fritchley and peppered with just enough keyboard.

Swallow The Rat offers an interesting take on Post-Punk. By the time this article goes live, I would have stalked them at Not Woodcock and bought the T-shirt. I look forward to hearing more.

Swallow The Rat are. Sam Vercoe (guitar, vocals), Brian Purington (guitar), Hayden Fritchley (drums), Stephen Horsley (bass, keyboard).

Rating: ( 4 / 5 )
 

About Swallow the Rat

Swallow the Rat formed in late 2017 when guitarists Brian Purington and Sam Vercoe began jamming with drummer Hayden Fritchley. Will Waters (Kerretta) was recruited on bass and in early 2018 the band recorded 3 songs with acclaimed engineer Nick Abbott at Auckland's Northwestern Recorders, all of which charted on New Zealand's Alt Charts and Student Radio, along with receiving air play on KOOP (Austin, TX) and DKFM (CAN). Mid 2018 saw Stephen Horsley take over bass duties and a NZ tour commenced.

In 2019 a self-titled 7" was released which coincided with several showcase performances at SXSW in Austin, TX. A string of shows across New Zealand followed, including opening for No Age, Gang Of Four, and Sebadoh. Subsequently, they signed to US label Shifting Sounds.

March 2020 they performed at New Colossus Festival in NYC as part of a US tour. Meanwhile back in NZ the singles Bird of Ill and Cold Moon both went to #1 on the 95bFM Top Ten. 24 April 2020 saw the global release of the LP Leaving Room.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Swallow the Rat

Releases

Leaving Room
Year: 2020
Type: Album
Buy Online @ Mightyape
Swallow the Rat
Year: 2018
Type: EP

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