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Free Swim – Dennis!

Posted on 19 January 2012 by Dorian

Preparing to review this EP was a bit nerve wracking, at Neon Filler we have been big supporters of Free Swim and are promoting their next gig, so what to do if the latest work was duff? I’d end up feeling like all those journalists who had to write good reviews of Oasis albums because they had spent the previous years proclaiming them the saviours of music and didn’t want to lose face. The good news for me is that the EP isn’t duff, far from it, and may well be my favourite Free Swim EP to date.

Free Swim - Dennis

The story on this one isn’t as outlandish as on previous outings, no grafted hands or mountaineering Pandas here, it is your typical boy meets boy, boy meets girl, boy loses boy, boy meets girl story. The opening track ‘Oh Dennis’ is power pop perfection with the kind of guitar riffing you get on Hold Steady records and a charming off-kilter love story at the heart of the song.

‘Croydon Fernandes’ is a more boisterous punky affair, perfectly complimenting the hyper-male activities or our protagonists as they spot planes, eat scotch eggs and play air cello. The song thunders long along until the arrival of the “undeniably lovely” Sophie Buttercup leaves our protagonist all alone.

‘The Smell of Pregnancy’ finds him sad, alone and abandoned pleading;

“Just promise you’ll always watch your Hornblower DVD once a year and think of me.”

This song is the standout song on a fine EP, the Batman theme instrumental section and slap bass outro being two of the fine musical highlights on a deceptively sophisticated track. Paul Coltofeanu (who plays everything here) shows a lot of skill throughout, and a real flair for production that lift this EP above the average DIY effort. The aforementioned slap bass, the keyboards on ‘Oh Dennis’ and the drums on the final track, the sweeping ‘Cycling Holidays In The Ardeche’, are just some of the musical elements that add real depth to what is (in all other respects) a fun and witty pop record.

Fee Swim seem to be getting better with each release, and another EP is planned for this year, time I think for a record label to sign them up and fund the double concept album they were born to make.

9/10

By Dorian Rogers

Listen to and download all the Free Swim music on their Bandcamp page.

See Free Swim live with Twin Brother and Stick In A Pot at the Green Door Store. Details here.

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