Swallows Awkward Situation

Led by talented multi-instrumentalist Glenn Milchem, Awkward Situation is a fantastically energetic rock’n’roll record by the Swallows. Best known as a full-fledged member of Blue Rodeo and an occasional contributor to Holy Fuck, Milchem is a well-respected drummer. As his work in the Swallows suggests, poppy punk songs keep Milchem’s heart pumping and he steps up on guitar and vocals with great purpose. Once they get in, it’s tricky to get rid of infectious songs like "Glorious” and "Penny,” with their irresistible combination of sunny guitar licks and driving drums. The rhythm section consists of bassist John Borra and drummer Randy Curnew, and the former Ian Blurton cronies lock in tight. Inventive guitarist Jonny James gels perfectly with Milchem and, whether deceptively heavy on "Wrong Turn” or soulfully slow on "Vicariously,” the quartet are in sync instrumentally. Occasionally, Milchem betrays nostalgia for mid-’90s indie rock; the uncompromising pop angst of "Privileged Tears” recalls the manic energy of early Superchunk, while "Pointafinger” borrows a Stone Roses riff to happily slide into its own. Whatever their influences, the Swallows’ unapologetic rock leanings give the inspired Awkward Situations an unbridled punch. (Magnetic Angel)