October 16, 2012 - Snowbird Songs
The Swellers may be a band without a label, but don't let that fool you into thinking they're a band without a plan. After releasing two albums on Fueled By Ramen—including 2011's highly praised Good For Me—in April the Swellers announced they were parting ways with the label and would self-release their next EP. The result, Running Out Of Places To Go, proves the Swellers are one band who don't need the backing of label to put out a solid record. Sometimes relieving all the outside pressure is just the thing a band need. They stick with what they know (some may call it playing it safe) and deliver five fast-paced rock songs brimming with energy, Nick Diener's earnest vocals and relatable lyrical themes like broken relationships, hometown nostalgia and taking charge of your life.
Running Out Of Places To Go opens with “Hands,” which establishes the EP's quick pace—the track is less than three minutes long—and the group’s newfound independence: “Oh, I'm tired of waiting for something to change/We're better than this,” Diener sings. The band keep the tempo moving at a steady gallop through the next three songs, including “Making Waves,” the quintessential “we're moving on and taking control of our lives” opus. That might sound like a hokey, overplayed idea, but the Michigan quartet throw in some Midwestern grit, giving the song a healthy dose of defiance. However, it's the closing title track that's the standout, full-bodied rock ’n' roll. (It's also the only “slow” song.) Swellers fans probably won't start reaching for their lighters when the band play the song live, but you can bet many of them will adopt the title track as their new favorite song. The EP ends with 45 seconds of gang vocals: “I miss my bed/But I can't remember how it feels compared to yours or any others/But thank you for letting me into your home.” Oh, fuck it, get those lighters out.