Drive North


Uncool Records/Burger Records, 2016

REVIEW BY: Pete Crigler


On the third album by the teenaged punk band formerly known as Emily’s Army, SWMRS has upped their musical arsenal a bit. They decided to change their tactic a bit and have abandoned some of the punk elements that made them a bit more interesting. Enlisting FIDLAR’s Zac Carper to produce them, they’ve seemingly dulled away some of their edge and have gone full pop-punk, similar to Good Charlotte circa 2007. my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Opening track “Harry Dean” is a cool little punker with some great influences, and it’s also got some great vocals. Then there’s something like “Miss Yer Kiss,” which is way more of a straight-ahead pop song that doesn’t really work; it just feels too forced. One of the other interesting tracks, “Ruining My Pretending,” is a pretty cool New Wave detour that is a good enough cut and one of the few eye-opening things to be found here.

“Turn Up” is the worst moment here; it’s way too poppy and so annoying that it doesn’t even feel like the band is trying all that hard. “Miley” is an ode to a ‘punk rock queen’ that is very odd and sounds like something that would’ve been on an indie rock record from the ‘90s. It’s a quirky little track but it doesn’t really add up to much. “D’You Have a Car” is a decent enough indie track. The closing title cut is decent but it isn’t really enough to save this record. Listening to songs such as these, it’s very clear these guys have moved away from punk rock. Shame, because they were better off where they were.

All in all, I believe the band is trying something new by going in a new direction, but this wasn’t the way to do it. In the end, this will be one of the most disappointing records of the year.

Rating: C-

User Rating: Not Yet Rated


© 2016 Pete Crigler and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Uncool Records/Burger Records, and is used for informational purposes only.