Shadow Shadow Post Punk, Darkwave Swan Wash Swan Wash hit my radar during the dark days of the great plague in 2020 with a few cassette releases that captured my attention. There was something different yet familiar about their sound. The guitars yielded a very pronounced sense of angst that resonated with the most enchanting twangs that seemed to mock the very notion of hope and tap into the feelings of existential dread and the state of impermanence in a society gone mad where bedlam is king. Lyrically, I wasn't sure as there was no clear cut path to the themes, however, a dark mosaic of surreal imagery manifested that called for the listener to find their own meaning in a world that desperately needed answers.Four years later after some rumblings about a full-length vinyl release, Swan Wash releases Shadow Shadow in all formats on Sister Cylinder. The band continues with Scott Ferguson (vocals, bass and synths) and Jack Andrews (guitars) and new member Wyatt Worcel (drums, percussion and synths). The sound is fierce and surges with punk energy and the gloominess of death rock. The drumming and bass play provide momentum that fuels the layers with depth and swagger. The sound has a dark, brooding aesthetic that gives the style it's charm, while the guitars seem to take front and center with the sharp reverberating picking that is both haunting as well as atmospheric. Shadow Shadow is not a compilation of previously released tracks, although there are a few tracks from The Upstairs Museum. It is a showcase of the band's evolving style through new works. The first track "Tunnel" immediately sets the tone for the foundation of Swan Wash's sound with the staple twangy guitars laced in reverb driving the sonic expressions with a relentless forward push into and through the Ven Diagram of the band's genre blending surge leaving a wake of wonder and curiosity for what's on the horizon. "Almost Gone" stands out as the most aggressive track. It's a wild ride that becomes very memorable with a death rock -post punk body that adds hints of post hardcore to really amp up this track's identity. Lyrically, I am not sure what's going on, but in typical Swan Wash fashion, metaphors are used to convey complex messages, allowing the listener to find their own connections to it. "Tavel's Gavel" and "The Upstairs Museum" are the only two songs featured here from the earlier works. Both are solid and worthy of a new home on Shadow Shadow. I found my level of enchantment raised each time I played the album. Swan Wash has this intangible lure that is beyond the music and lyrical themes. I find myself drawn to it and the earlier works from years ago. I think of all the releases I have purchased since 2020 and how many have I returned to? Not many to be honest, however Swan Wash have tapped into something that really bonds with my need to return to a release that words cannot attempt to put meaning to. Like I said, there is this intangible lure that keeps me coming back despite how much I love the music and the open meanings within the lyrics; there is a hidden element the can pull you back in after some dormancy. There is no downside to what is revealed on Shadow Shadow. As dark and hopeless as the music may feel, there is a sense of fulfillment that a few people can get together and create a soundtrack that roots itself into the listeners' experiences allowing them to think about their own meanings. The vinyl is limited to 250 copies (includes lyrics and full color cover), the cassette is a limited edition of 50 copies (band photo artwork) and the CD to just 100 copies. Click here to support what you stand for! Hopefully it will not take another four years to hear more Swan Wash. Maybe a live gig in NYC? A t-shirt? Okay, I know I sound selfish, but I love this band and want to support them anyway I can, and you should too. Aces all around! Thanks Swan Wash! 450
Brutal Resonance

Swan Wash - Shadow Shadow

8.5
"Great"
Released 2024 by Sister Cylinder
Swan Wash hit my radar during the dark days of the great plague in 2020 with a few cassette releases that captured my attention. There was something different yet familiar about their sound. The guitars yielded a very pronounced sense of angst that resonated with the most enchanting twangs that seemed to mock the very notion of hope and tap into the feelings of existential dread and the state of impermanence in a society gone mad where bedlam is king. Lyrically, I wasn't sure as there was no clear cut path to the themes, however, a dark mosaic of surreal imagery manifested that called for the listener to find their own meaning in a world that desperately needed answers.


Four years later after some rumblings about a full-length vinyl release, Swan Wash releases Shadow Shadow in all formats on Sister Cylinder. The band continues with Scott Ferguson (vocals, bass and synths) and Jack Andrews (guitars) and new member Wyatt Worcel (drums, percussion and synths). The sound is fierce and surges with punk energy and the gloominess of death rock. The drumming and bass play provide momentum that fuels the layers with depth and swagger. The sound has a dark, brooding aesthetic that gives the style it's charm, while the guitars seem to take front and center with the sharp reverberating picking that is both haunting as well as atmospheric. 


Shadow Shadow is not a compilation of previously released tracks, although there are a few tracks from The Upstairs Museum. It is a showcase of the band's evolving style through new works. The first track "Tunnel" immediately sets the tone for the foundation of Swan Wash's sound with the staple twangy guitars laced in reverb driving the sonic expressions with a relentless forward push into and through the Ven Diagram of the band's genre blending surge leaving a wake of wonder and curiosity for what's on the horizon. "Almost Gone" stands out as the most aggressive track. It's a wild ride that becomes very memorable with a death rock -post punk body that adds hints of post hardcore to really amp up this track's identity. Lyrically, I am not sure what's going on, but in typical Swan Wash fashion, metaphors are used to convey complex messages, allowing the listener to find their own connections to it. "Tavel's Gavel" and "The Upstairs Museum" are the only two songs featured here from the earlier works. Both are solid and worthy of a new home on Shadow Shadow. I found my level of enchantment raised each time I played the album. Swan Wash has this intangible lure that is beyond the music and lyrical themes. I find myself drawn to it and the earlier works from years ago. I think of all the releases I have purchased since 2020 and how many have I returned to? Not many to be honest, however Swan Wash have tapped into something that really bonds with my need to return to a release that words cannot attempt to put meaning to. Like I said, there is this intangible lure that keeps me coming back despite how much I love the music and the open meanings within the lyrics; there is a hidden element the can pull you back in after some dormancy. There is no downside to what is revealed on Shadow Shadow. As dark and hopeless as the music may feel, there is a sense of fulfillment that a few people can get together and create a soundtrack that roots itself into the listeners' experiences allowing them to think about their own meanings. 


The vinyl is limited to 250 copies (includes lyrics and full color cover), the cassette is a limited edition of 50 copies (band photo artwork) and the CD to just 100 copies. Click here to support what you stand for! 

Hopefully it will not take another four years to hear more Swan Wash. Maybe a live gig in NYC? A t-shirt? Okay, I know I sound selfish, but I love this band and want to support them anyway I can, and you should too. Aces all around! Thanks Swan Wash!
Jun 19 2024

Luke Jacobs

info@brutalresonance.com
Part time contributor since 2012 with over 150 contributions with reviews, interviews and news articles.

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