Oh, Mr. Swift, how you do go on. The excellent singer/songwriter follows up his fascinating but divergent Instruments of Science & Technology album by releasing a two-EP set...of rough, raw, primarily instrumental garage rock and blues???
I won't say I don't like Richard Swift as Onasis, but I do want to ask, "Richard, where are you going with this?" Challenging and confounding your audience is one thing, but underachieving is another. Twenty songs in thirty-eight minutes, most of which are fungible, almost all of which feel incomplete, with some of them simply ending. The record feels like someone broke into a studio, stole rehearsal tapes, and bootlegged 'em. It doesn't sound a bit like the Richard Swift you might expect, so be forewarned.
I'm willing to accept records like this because I know that Richard is an artist and that he's following his muse, and it's only a matter of time before he releases another mindblower. Of course it all could be a joke on his audience; it's hard to not see the song title "Ha Ha Suckers" without thinking it reveals a primary motivation. Musical japes like this, though, not everyone will like. Caveat emptor.
Listen To: Even More Sign Language
Listen To: Phone Coffins
Richard Swift as Onasis is released April 8, 2008, on Secretly Canadian
Labels: record reviews s, Richard Swift, Secretly Canadian