Dead Swans - Anxiety and Everything Else EP
Record Label: Bridge 9
Release Date: February 28, 2012
Dead Swans. If anxiety is a hell of a ride, that makes Anxiety and Everything Else its psychotropic rollercoaster, lying on the grimier side of Brighton's tracks. Once UK-based hardcore veterans Sworn In stepped down, you couldn't help but to wonder how many visionary lads would be bloodthirsty enough and just up to par with the Bridge 9 aesthetic. It's taken the spasm-and-thrash reputation of quintet Dead Swans to attack the void, because to go from Southern Blue and arrive at the name It's Starting, surely some reckless trauma has been creeping up under the folds.
"I've Been Trying To Leave" snaps forward into what seems like a brooding inversion of American Nightmare's "Postmark My Compass", recalling its Southern Blue roots over crunching guitars. As frontman Nick Worthington chokes out coarsened repeated fits of "when will it end", you get the impression that the maddening process won't let up anytime soon. This is the skeleton to Anxiety's frenetic ward, born ready to navigate more than just hellholes: "Dead Until Dark" features topsy-turvy drumwork on oxycontin that eventually caves into sludgy downer status; "Southern Blue" bubbles in pent up frustration and dissonance via guitarists Pid and Robbie. But it's middle track "Keep Them Shut" that showcases all we ever wanted from Dead Swans. In two minutes and twenty four seconds, a snare drum stutters to the sounds of ambient hypnosis, everything morphs into call-and-response, and then hypnosis mode edges its way back. Trapped in the thick of melancholy, fury, and classic hardcore throwbacks, Anxiety rams beyond what no prescription drug could ever alleviate.