Save The Swim Team - The Big Compromise | Album Review | By Volume

I'm afraid of heaven because I can't stand the height. I'm afraid of you because I can't be left behind. St. Vincent - Regret
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Save The Swim Team

The Big Compromise

4th wave? Probably not, but Save the Swim Team’s refreshing ska feels newly nostalgic.

Comments (0)
Author: on May 10, 2013
7.0
Not Punk Records
May 14, 2013

It feels weird that in 2013 ska should still be be relevant. Okay, that’s a stretch. It isn’t. Sure, the new Streetlight Manifesto record has everyone repping their 3rd wave posi right now but the genre, for the last decade, has been by and large one of those things that we all left behind in the 80s and 90s where it rightfully belongs. Even weirder is that a little tape label just north of San Diego that prides itself on putting out angular and avant-garde art punk would decide to make its first step into the vinyl game with a deliciously sweet ska-punk record.

That being said, I’m glad they did, because Save The Swim Team’s The Big Compromise 7” is an absolute treat. In a time when ever more self-absorbed ambient electro-pop and angry jock hardcore are forming the contrasting ends of the music underground, it is refreshing that something as passed-by as big horns and fast punk beat drumming is still kicking around. It’s just that – the total will to survive despite the odds – which permeates every note of Save the Swim Team’s music. It’s an aural fuck you to trend diving teens; a total work of passion that has to gnash back with bared teeth to get taken seriously, and get taken seriously it does. From the opening Heartsounds-esque intro to “The Best and Worst of Me”, Save the Swim Team demand your attention. Their alternating tendencies between Progress-era, RX Bandits-influenced post-hardcore (via horns), and soaring skate-punk melodies, is a delightful throwback to many of ska’s last hanger-ons high school glory days, with every bright octave acting as a revitalizing lift of years now passed.

If more bands like Save The Swim Team start peeking their way through the rough and rigid punk-rock structure rule book it looks like we might be entering the start of the 4th wave. Probably not, but still, if you were raised on Less Than Jake and Mustard Plug records, the chances are that Save The Swim Team will fill in a little piece of your heart that you didn’t even know was missing.

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