New Swears Mills Hardware, Hamilton ON, July 12

New Swears Mills Hardware, Hamilton ON, July 12
Photo: Adam Wills
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Notorious fun boys New Swears dropped their most recent full-length …And the Magic of Horses earlier this month, marking their first release for Dine Alone Records and showcasing a smoother, more mature side to their songwriting.
 
With a stacked lineup of summer gigs ahead of them, the guys kicked off another stretch of shows last night (July 12) at Hamilton's Mills Hardware. While drummer Nick Nofun was unexpectedly missing from the quartet's original lineup, the power of guitarists Beej Eh, Scru Bar and bassist Sammy J. Scorpion was more than enough to keep the crowd's focus up front.
 
New Swears wasted no time tearing into the boisterous "Midnight Lovers," one of their best cuts from 2015's Junkfood Forever, Bedtime Whatever, then followed it with another self-released oldie, "See You in Hull" as the Ottawa natives thrashed their beat-up, duct-taped guitars around like badges of honour. Despite a sparsely populated venue, their energy and showmanship never faltered. Scru Bar made multiple laps around the room mid-song, diving off the stage and physically pulling a table of two closer to the front. The raucous and upbeat energy of New Swears' party-punk anthems make it almost impossible to stand still, but the Hamilton crowd required some gentle nudging to let loose.
 
With ...And the Magic of Horses primarily recorded on acoustic guitar, there was anticipation in seeing how these new tracks would translate live. Remaining true to their live style, standout numbers like "777" and "Warm Bodies" packed even more of a punch. Watching Sammy, Beej Eh and Scru Bar execute some of their classic synchronized stage stunts, like playing with Beej Eh on Sammy's back and his legs draped over Scru Bar's shoulders, pierced the room with an infectious feeling of joy.
 
The evolution of New Swears' live show has seen the band improving upon their strengths; these days, they sound like a more cohesive unit than ever before while remaining as dynamic and original as the day they first embarked on this crazy ride. It's cathartic to see the band live, especially when the dreary monotony of life is threatening to drive you completely insane. Their fun-loving, upbeat tunes are refreshing testaments to the genuine friendship shared amongst them, and serve as a reminder that sometimes the best remedy can be as simple as lighting one up and having a good time with your pals.