11 Songs, 39 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Where 2007’s My Everest leaned on pessimistic themes, The Swellers’ following album finds frontman Nick Diener musing on some of the silver linings that frame those heavy clouds covering his hometown of Flint, Michigan. Ups and Downsizing is a pop-punk affair that opens with “2009,” a fast driving number that yields Velcro catchy hooks, soaring vocal harmonies and triumphant gang-vocals. But just because this album abounds with high-energy tunes that would well accompany a skateboard contest doesn’t mean that this is your run of the mill Vans Warped Tour soundtrack. “Fire Away” is so overflowing with melody that if it were played any slower it could be an emo song, and if the contagious “Sleeper” were played on vintage instruments, it would sound like a 1970s power pop tune a-la Cheap Trick or The Records. The title-track rocks like the kind of post grunge anthem you’d expect to come from Dave Grohl, but it’s the acoustic based “Stars” that shows real maturity in songwriting with lyrics that long for personal growth. It’s a sweet little detour that gives listeners a break from the adrenalin riddled numbers.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Where 2007’s My Everest leaned on pessimistic themes, The Swellers’ following album finds frontman Nick Diener musing on some of the silver linings that frame those heavy clouds covering his hometown of Flint, Michigan. Ups and Downsizing is a pop-punk affair that opens with “2009,” a fast driving number that yields Velcro catchy hooks, soaring vocal harmonies and triumphant gang-vocals. But just because this album abounds with high-energy tunes that would well accompany a skateboard contest doesn’t mean that this is your run of the mill Vans Warped Tour soundtrack. “Fire Away” is so overflowing with melody that if it were played any slower it could be an emo song, and if the contagious “Sleeper” were played on vintage instruments, it would sound like a 1970s power pop tune a-la Cheap Trick or The Records. The title-track rocks like the kind of post grunge anthem you’d expect to come from Dave Grohl, but it’s the acoustic based “Stars” that shows real maturity in songwriting with lyrics that long for personal growth. It’s a sweet little detour that gives listeners a break from the adrenalin riddled numbers.

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