This here is an interesting EP. Swimmer’s Lungs is best described as a Post-Hardcore band with heavy Emo and Screamo influence from the late 90’s and early 00’s. Hailing from Bethlehem Pennsylvania, Swimmer’s Lungs have put out one heck of a debut.
The first track, “Michael Phelps Bong Rips”, instantly pays tribute to bands such as City Of Caterpillar and Pg. 99. The dissonant melodies heard on this track and throughout the rest of the EP really have a unique flavor about them. The EP has some excellent production, and the raw sound of the recording really helps push the band’s intensity. The music is evenly balanced, using melodic guitar breaks to ease up the chaotic hardcore sections.
The vocals on this EP stand out more when the vocalist eases back from his intense shrieks and growls and lets his voice break up a bit. A lot of the more intense sections remain unintelligible, which holds back the lyrics from really resonating. The lyrics are very emotional and moving, and while the unintelligible vocal style works well for this genre of music, I personally believe the lyrics could be a lot more impactful if you could understand what was being screamed more often than not. Also, there is a really interesting clean singing section at the tail end of the song “Final Jeopardy” that opens up a new mood for the music. I would like to see a lot more singing such as this in future releases by Swimmer’s Lungs.
My favorite song on this EP is “Mondovich”, which spotlights the loss of a friend. The song mixes chaotic hardcore with soft guitar melody, and features some really emotional yelling by the vocalist. You can feel the helplessness in his voice, and the song pushes this emotion further by laying a strong musical foundation behind the lyrics.
Overall, this EP is an excellent first endeavor for Swimmer’s Lungs. It lays a strong foundation for the band to work from, and keeps the listener hooked with catchy melody. Originality is difficult to come by in today’s over-saturated underground scene, but you need look no further than Swimmer’s Lungs.
Final Verdict: 8/10