Music News

Critic's Choice

The underappreciated Boston-based Swirlies put out a reliable brand of lo-fi bedroom pop with enough white noise to make the tunes sound like they were recorded in the great outdoors -- say, on a busy airport runway during holiday rush hour. Founding member Seana Carmody, who performs Sunday, October 6, at the 15th Street Tavern, deconstructs the blistering soundwall from those bygone days into a more focused, songwriterly offering that leans more toward the introspection of Kim Deal or Kristin Hersh than the pain threshold of My Bloody Valentine. Bassist Adam Brilla (Lockgroove) and drummer Orrin Anderson (Syrup USA) round out this casually aggressive trio, which surpasses alterna-pop ordinariness with distinct, hearty melodies and copious amounts of lilt and bash. Touring on the strength of Struts & Shocks, the band's debut on Kimchee Records, Carmody pops the rusty hood on guy/gal relationships, checks the points, the timing, the differential, then tops off all fluids with a girlish swagger. Sporting a keen eye for detail, she warbles rather sweetly about bulls, trolls, tornadoes, insomnia and smoking in the dark. With so many big guitars and catchy choruses, the only missing ingredient might be Slade on bloody tambourine. Maybe next go-round.
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John La Briola