Ivy League Records (Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever, The Teskey Brothers, Hatchie) recently announced the release of A. Swayze & the Ghosts‘ debut album, Paid Salvation. At a time when some young bands seem more concerned with social media followers than having something to say, Paid Salvation is a refreshingly real breath of fresh air, one that restores faith in the incendiary, uplifting and subversive power of punk rock.
New single Nothing Left To Do arrived last night courtesy of BBC Radio 1’s Jack Saunders, in his coveted Midnight Drop feature slot. Following the recent synth-punk flavoured single ‘Cancer’, Nothing Left To Do is a revved-up adrenaline-shot, of which Andrew Swayze says: “I don’t generally write love songs as they’re so predictable and can bore the sh** out of me. I’m conflicted between two entirely different personalities, which can produce a lot of blurred lines between fact and fiction and then what I choose to present to people. The sole person who has complete access to behind the scenes of Andrew Swayze is my wife Olivia, I cannot hide or look away from her.”
Hear Nothing Left To Do on YouTube below.
More about the debut album Paid Salvation
On the band’s blistering debut record Paid Salvation – recorded in Melbourne with producer Dean Tuza (These New South Whales, Stella Donnelly) – Swayze pulls no punches, using the group’s urgent and tightly wound music as a backdrop against which he can purge himself of the myriad frustrations he has with the world around him. Taking aim at social media (“Connect to Consume”), ecocide (“Beaches”), tall poppy syndrome (“Rich”), mob-rule and herd mentality (“Marigold”), it seems little escapes his ire, even God and the Bible get a good lashing. It’s safe to say we’re not in standard garage punk territory.
On first listen, it would be easy to take the album on face value, enjoying it purely for its many musical pleasures: energetic guitar interplay, pummeling rhythms, basslines that groove and an infectious shout-along melodic sensibility that runs throughout. But that’s the real power of Paid Salvation. While it’s a hell of a lot of fun, it’s also deadly serious.
“It really shits me off when bands have this pedestal and they have the ability to influence so much around them and they waste it by singing about stupid shit. If you’re given this audience, I think you have to have something to say. And I definitely intend on abusing that right.” Swayze says “I want people to go, ‘I love that song it makes me dance but I also appreciate the honesty. I want the melodies and the instrumentals to be accessible for people from all sorts of backgrounds, but I also want everyone to fucking listen to what I’m saying as well. And I especially want young men to hear songs like ‘Suddenly’ and ‘It’s Not Alright’ and think about what they’re saying rather than just listening to them and going, ‘Yeah I’m all jacked up on this rock song!’ he laughs. With AS&TG, the music is the sugar that makes the medicine easier to swallow.
Over the last two years A. Swayze & the Ghosts have performed at Falls Festival, Splendour In The Grass, The Great Escape, BIGSOUND (in many ‘best of’ lists across STACK, triple j, Double J, The Music), A Festival Called Panama and Boogie Festival – as well as shows alongside Shame, Total Control, Nude Party, Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes, West Thebarton, Jet, The Vines, Batpiss & The Stems to name a few.
PRE-ORDER PAID SALVATION HERE
A. Swayze & the Ghosts – Paid Salvation – Track listing
1. It’s Not Alright
Photo Credits: Rick Clifford