Round Flat Records

SWA – XCIII – Cassette

 

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SWA – XCIII – Cassette

XCIII is the third studio album by the American punk rock band SWA. Released in 1987, it showcases the band’s unique blend of punk, hard rock, and alternative influences, characterized by raw energy and catchy melodies.

SWA, formed in 1985, features the talents of vocalist and guitarist Chuck Dukowski, known for his previous work with Black Flag, as well as drummer Chuck Biscuits and guitarist Greg Cameron. “XCIII” represents a continuation of their punk roots while incorporating a more melodic and accessible sound.

Guitar goddess Sylvia Juncosa was a splendid player, but her arrival in SWA just before this album was recorded may have contributed to the eccentric mishmash of styles on XCIII.

Her quick-fingered, discordant soloing meshes oddly with the dirgelike tempos that the rest of the band favors on most of the album, though admittedly the combination works on cuts like “Prayer” and “Optimist.” The place where everything comes together is the soaring anthem “Arroyo,” the only fast-paced number on the album and the one where Juncosa sounds unleashed.

Merrill Ward of St. Vitus does the best singing of his career, belting out the verses with feeling and holding the final note of each chorus for an improbably long time. It helps that “Arroyo” was probably also the peak of the band’s songwriting, making this a great single but causing the rest of the album to look unfocused and draggy by comparison.

The album features a collection of fast-paced and driving tracks that balance aggressive punk rock with melodic hooks. SWA’s musicianship is characterized by tight and energetic performances, with Dukowski’s distinctive vocals and thoughtful lyrics adding depth to their songs.

Standout tracks from XCIII include “Fakers Blues,” “Optimist,” and “So Long.” These songs exemplify SWA’s ability to deliver high-energy punk rock with memorable hooks and a dose of introspection.

XCIII received positive reviews upon its release, praised for its solid songwriting, energetic performances, and the band’s ability to combine punk aggression with melodic sensibilities. The album remains a favorite among fans of the punk rock and alternative rock genres.

The band and label obviously recognized the superiority of the song, as Chuck Dukowski went back into the studio and produced a slightly cleaner edit which was re-released on an EP. That version of “Arroyo” was a minor college radio hit, and much was expected of SWA afterward. Unfortunately, Juncosa left the band and was replaced by Phil Van Duyne, and the band’s subsequent releases had nothing that equalled the energy of “Arroyo,” much less surpassed it.

For fans of punk rock and those who appreciate a blend of aggression and melody in their music, “SWA – XCIII” offers an engaging and dynamic listening experience. It represents a notable release in SWA’s discography and reflects their ability to evolve and expand their sound while staying true to their punk roots.

SST Records

Brand new, never played and still sealed in plastic

Track Listing
Fakers Blues
Optimist
Succumb
Heartbreaker
Arroyo
Prayer
So Long

https://www.roundflat.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/swa-xx.jpghttps://www.roundflat.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/swa-xx.jpgroundflatSWA - XCIII - Cassette XCIII is the third studio album by the American punk rock band SWA. Released in 1987, it showcases the band's unique blend of punk, hard rock, and alternative influences, characterized by raw energy and catchy melodies. SWA, formed in 1985, features the talents of vocalist and...Discover the ultimate destination for punk records, indie vinyl, alternative CDs, and metal cassettes since 1992.

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