There is nothing better than a true punk band. Music that is full of energy and emotion, making you want to jump around and bob your head while singing along with words that express your feelings. The Swellers, an American punk band from Flint, Michigan, have managed to capture fans for the last ten years and with the release of their new album, The Light Under Closed Doors, there is no doubt their fan base will continue to grow.
The first track and also first song to be released, “Should,” sets the tone for the rest of the album. Starting off with an energetic track, the lyrics add to its catchiness. Definitely a song to sing along too at the top of your lungs, “Should” should prove to be a hit with fans and punk lovers alike.
Staying with the idea of love related lyrics and instrumentally powerful tracks, “Big Hearts” and “Got Social” follow.
While most songs on The Light Under Closed Doors have upbeat tracks to accompany even the more somber songs, “High/Low” is probably the most heartfelt on the track list. Lead singer Nick Diener sings “I’m locked in my room and I’m not feeling human…” with a raw emotion that connects with fans that look for tracks like these to let out their innermost frustrations. “High/Low” is set apart from the rest of the tracks for its more melancholy feel. While a generally upbeat punk album is great, once in a while a more heartfelt song helps the album stay true to what makes up a big part of the punk sound, which is emotions and vulnerability.
While the album is composed of great tracks, adding variety into the sound of the whole album as the whole would have allowed listeners to experience a more emotional complex album. The more upbeat songs, even with sadder lyrics, still provide easy listening material but by adding more emotional variety, The Swellers could have connected more with fans.
A track that shows potential to resonate with fans and win over new ones is “Designated Driver”. With the same punk musical feel, the lyrics start off with the traditional angst feeling that calls out to listeners. Lyrics like “Woke up on the wrong side of the bed, ‘cuz I’m the only one who sleeps in it…” starts off a song about disappointment and frustration. Relating to almost anyone, “Designated Driver” has the potential to become one of the biggest hits from The Light Under Closed Doors.
Inspired by 90’s punk bands, The Swellers have displayed true knowledge about what punk fans want and have once again delivered with The Light Under Closed Doors. For a band that has been around for more than ten years, they still continue to surprise listeners by producing original, raw material that is worthy of headlining any Vans Warped Tour.