As unassuming as their moniker may be, there’s a lot to digest with Swordfish. For one, they’re amongst the most hotly-tipped new names to arrive from the fruitful US emo scene in a while, picking up comparisons to acts like American Football and Sorority Noise along the way. And considering the latter have released probably the best emo album of 2017 thus far, theirs are some big shoes for Swordfish to fill with new album ‘Rodia’ to do such a comparison justice.
And while the Michigan quintet aren’t quite at that level yet, they come surprisingly close in all honesty, as ‘Rodia’ still manages to capture an elusive sense of desperation, albeit not quite as intense. And really, that’s to be expected; where Cam Boucher’s songwriting was fuelled by the loss of numerous close friends, Swordfish vocalist Chandler Lach’s is slightly more generalised to senses of adolescent anxiety and neuroses.
Still, with the building swell of ‘Social Drinker’ and the distant, dejected vocal style across ‘Wash’ and ‘Dentistry’, ‘Rodia’ still packs one hell of a gut-punch, and with its backing canvas of rugged, rough emo (as well as snaking trumpet lines that could’ve been left out), the sense of reality in this album is palpable.
Even when emo is a strong as it is in 2017, Swordfish have come right out of left field with ‘Rodia’ for yet another genre winner. With all the honesty and emotional weight of some of this year’s very best, this isn’t a name to ignore.
‘Rodia’ by Swordfish is out now on Take This To Heart Records.
Words by Luke Nuttall(@nuttall_luke)