DIY rockers Going Swimming have been mulling around the scene for a few years now since their conception in 2012, and in the past week have dropped their debut Goosebumps-inspired LP.
The four-piece (consisting of vocalist / guitarist Nicholas Leggatt, guitarist Aswin Lakshman, bassist Callan Trewenack and drummer Ben Barclay) have a knack for creating scrappy, scuzzy music that has seen them transition from 2013 surf rock release The Shark Attack EP to their latest series of gritty ditties Deadtime Stories. You might even remember them from previous singles such as She Hates Sports and the wildly conservative Sluts Who Stole Our Palm Tree, or just for their infectiously catchy tunes that are simultaneously manic and genius.
With their rowdy blend of scruffy surf rock and gritty punk, Melbourne’s Going Swimming refine their roughness on their debut album Deadtime Stories.
Going Swimming walk a fine line between insanely good and just plain insane. Despite each member being in their late 20s, the band comes armed with an underlying sense of teenage venom and a desire to not take anything too seriously when it comes to music. The result? A series of 11 kickass songs that are comprised of an ambitious but successful blend of surf rock, DIY punk and psychedelic flashbacks. With all the highlights in Deadtime Stories, this article could easily ramble on for more words than necessary, so let’s just take a look at a few of the best surfy / spooky moments.
Deadtime Stories kicks off with Them Shakes, a thrashing number that creeps along with mysterious leads before executing a heart-racing wall of sound towards the end. In the first song we’re introduced to the boisterous wailing of Leggatt, whose gripping vocals are the perfect match for the band’s reckless sound. Leggatt commands attention from the very first second as he proceeds to screech on about monsters against a backdrop of retro rhythms. Them Shakes cleverly takes the listener by the hand and pulls them into a world that is uniquely rowdy enough to please punk fans but light hearted enough to not alienate fans of other genres.
The hasty Whatever Happened To The Plan? comes in at track five, bringing an incredibly catchy chorus, lo-fi summer tones and really nice, considered bass lines. Around the one-and-a-half minute mark, the song starts to melt and quickly breaks down into a trippy psych whirlpool before ending abruptly. Going Swimming’s high energy numbers go as quickly as they come, creating a tantalising release with none of that dreaded filler.
Yoko, Oh No! immediately follows and, apart from having one of the best song titles I’ve come across, adds another dimension to the LP. The two-minute instrumental starts with blazing guitar riffs and swells to an absolute beast of a song, ready to punch you in the face with layers of texture and fuzzy chords. There’s a sporadic ‘rest’ moment in the song where it dies down and gives everyone the chance to have a quick breather, but naturally the band comes back with a vengeance.
Whether it’s the twinkly riffs creeping along or Leggatt’s dynamic and overly expressive vocals, there’s no doubting RCB is one of the spookiest tunes on Deadtime Stories. As one of the more stripped back (and I use that term very loosely) pieces on the release, RCB allows for focus on piercing guitars and the character that Leggatt presents.
Going Swimming have definitely made a strong impression with their debut album by crafting their own blend of genres and branding themselves with it. Deadtime Stories has a range of rock n roll styles to please pretty much everyone and the risks they’ve taken in composition and production have paid off. The band has grown immensely since the release of The Shark Attack EP, so it’s safe to say we’ll be seeing a lot more of them around town.
Deadtime Stories is out now via Going Swimming’s Bandcamp page! You can also catch them at what I expect will be a gloriously sweaty time – the band’s national album tour. Check out the details below or hit up their Facebook page for more information.
Fri Oct 16 – The Eastern, Ballarat
Sat Oct 17 – Edinburgh Castle Hotel, Adelaide
Sun Oct 18 – Frankie’s Pizza, Sydney
Fri Oct 23 – The Brisbane Hotel, Hobart
Sat Oct 31 - Mon Nov 2 – Lawsfest, Victoria
Sat Nov 7 – The Bearded Lady, Brisbane
Fri Nov 13 – The Workers Club, Melbourne