The Swellers are a midwestern punk rock band from Flint, Michigan. While still being very young, they have quite the discography under their belt already. Good For Me is the band’s 4th full length album, and they also have an EP. The reason I was drawn to this band years ago was because of how similar they sounded to punk bands I listened to in my teen years. Bands like Lagwagon, Allister, Home Grown… all those old Fat Wreck Chords and Drive-Thru Records bands these guys draw a big influence from. I always say these guys came way past their time, but I should probably be saying that they’re revolutionizing a comeback of old school punk.
The first time I spun this records I was immediately impressed and already figured it to be my favorite album by them. Definitely better than their 2009 album Ups and Downsizing, a record that took a LONG time to grow on me. They have officially strayed away from the skatepunk sound that they had going on their first few releases, but it’s safe to say that they have now found “their” sound… and it’s awesome. Good For Me opens with one of my favorite songs on the record, “Runaways”. It blasts your ears with an awesome riff (that’s really fun to play) and has super catchy lyrics.
Another exceptional track is “The Damage”. It begins with just vocalist Nick Diener singing over faded guitar but then catapults itself into a full fledged jam where you’ll find yourself screaming “The damage is done, I saw for myself!” The first song the band released was the single, “The Best I Ever Had”. I’ll admit, it took me a while to like this song. I thought the lead riff was too slow and thought the melody was annoying. But after a couple more listens (and watching the music video), I really began to like it. It’s now one of my favorite songs on the album, go figure. “Better Things” has an absolutely killer prechorus-chorus combo (“I’m on my way to better things… It’s not the first time, not the last time!”)
“On The Line” sounds like something you would have heard on alternative rock radio in 1999. That trend continues with “Nothing More To Me”, a song that sounds EXACTLY like something the Foo Fighters could have written. Dave Grohl’s vocals wouldn’t sound out of place on here at all. The second half of the album is where they put their few slower songs, but it all remains pretty upbeat (if that makes any sense) and something that could translate well live. And at this point I’d like to highly recommend checking these guys out live if you can. They are ultra tight and Diener’s vocals are just as good live as they are recorded.
This turned out to be an outstanding rock record full of anthems and singalongs, even if there are only 10 songs. It really gave me a nostalgic feeling, and I think that’s one of the big reasons why I like this album so much. It brings me back to summers of early 2000s, jamming on my guitar with friends in someone’s garage.
Watch the music video for “The Best I Ever Had”: