Not to be confused with Shwayze the rapper, Swayze the punk band is a group of dudes from Saskatoon that specialize in a raw, high-energy sound. Their newest record, None Of This Matters, is comprised of ten tracks of familiar, yet unorthodox, in-your-face, punk-rock aggression.
As you may have guessed from the album title, a lot of the lyrical themes from this album are nihilistic as all hell. That’s either because, like me, these guys are fans of PUP’s The Dream is Over, or it could equally be because of the psychological effects of, you know, living in a place like Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Either way, the record’s melodramatic lyrics matched with some cheerfully aggressive instrumentation makes for a combination that I wished was more common in the punk genre.
Musically, it’s fast, raw punk rock at its core, but not the typical three-chord, rehashed song structure that’s been plaguing the genre for the majority of its 40-year existence. There’s some pop-punk catchiness in what the always-busy guitars and melodically-shouted vocals bring, with just few enough “woah-woah-woahs” to save it from falling into any pre-existing genre stereotypes. The dirty guitar tones and vocal performances are instantly reminiscent of bands like PUP, matched with the aggression of other punk rock up-and-comers like Pears, and it’s a beautiful thing.
Although Swayze differentiate themselves from other acts of their style by doing all this, there’s not much that sets these ten songs apart from each other. They all blend together really well to make a consistent tracklist without any tracks that stick out like a sore thumb, but little else stands out once we dig past their overall sound. Of course, I appreciate their dedication to not sticking to traditional song structures, but sometimes it’s necessary for the sake of having a memorable chorus in there somewhere. Either way, Swayze is doing their thing on None Of This Matters, and you should definitely check it out if you like your music loud.
Written by Mathieu Perrier
*edited by Kate Erickson