This is the first long player from Adelaide's Swayback, the majority of which was recorded live over a weekend at Dave Lokan's Big Sound Studios. Some time-consuming setbacks including losing the studio location to an orchid and a sharp object that put guitarist Matt Small out of commission for six months stood in Swayback's way, but they endured, and here before us is 'The Quest for Rock & Roll'.


So how does The Quest for Rock and Roll stack up? Well, these four guys like their rock and roll… they're loud and they're proud, and they want you to know all about it.


The record kicks off with The Moves, a driving, bluesy number with a big slide guitar in attendance that sets the tone for the next 48 minutes.


At first I was concerned that Brenton Manser's fairly unusual vocal style was going to grate on me after a few songs, interestingly enough I actually began to quite enjoy it, although I would have liked to hear some more variety in the vocal approach across the songs. I can say with fair confidence that he sounds different to almost everything you'll hear coming out your speakers, especially in 2006.


There are a wide variety of songs here, from good time rock'n'roll like Will We Ever Be Free to the more placid I've Heard You Say. However, as with the critique of the vocals, a corresponding variety in guitar tones and levels also could have contributed to the overall presentation of this record.


Don't get me wrong, I played the CD all the way through on the first go (tick). Then, on the second play, about halfway through track five (Birdy) I found myself doing something strange… I was playing air-guitar … mmm another tick it seems. Later I found myself humming a chorus melody here and there… remembering words and phrases… yup another tick. Swayback claim no one will leave a gig without a smile on their face or a lyric to recite, with three ticks it's a claim I believe they have also achieved on their debut record.


While I'm not sure The Quest for Rock and Roll will make it onto your favourite CDs list immediately, after a couple of listens it definitely makes for a foot tapping good time.

Follow The Dwarf on Facebook

Comments ()