Having formed late in 2017, Redditch four piece Swan Prince can already boast an impressive resume of live shows, from playing Polite Riot Festival in 2018, to supporting Teenage Bottlerocket and The Bombpops. Now, looking to build on the premise and excitement of last year’s debut EP, they are back with another EP, “Enjoy The Rain”, which was released on 15th March via Hell Hath No Fury Records.
The EP opens with “Glass Half Empty” and what sounds like a choir harmonising together before the choppy guitar strokes kick in along with some pummelling drums. But it’s vocalist/guitarist Rachel’s distinctive voice that really shines though, the heavy atmospheric quality to it giving the track an almost haunted feel which carries across the whole EP and fits perfectly with the lyrical themes that cover the wide spectrum of mental health.
“SWL” (which from the lyrics I’m going to guess at stands for Strongly Worded Letter) follows and had me humming along pretty quickly with a sound that, to my ears anyway, reminded me of The Swellers. Melodies, singalong moments and a couple of little breakdowns all combine to create a real gem of a track that is instant, memorable and possibly my favourite track on the EP as Rachel charts a relationship breakdown.
Whilst the first two tracks are slightly more sombre sounding, it’s from this point on that I felt a greater urgency to both the music and the delivery. Faster and more in your face from the start, “The Shadows” provides a welcome change of pace as skate-punk guitar riffs compete with the throbbing bass lines. “In Your Dreams” keeps up the tempo from “The Shadows”, but also sounds too similar. It’s still a competent song but at this point in the EP I was hoping for a little more experimentation and variety of sound, just something different to really show their musical development.
The EP ends on a high though with the energetic “Dangerous Weather”. Competing with “SWL” as my favourite track, it’s carried along by pounding drum beats as Rachel battles her mental demons. The quiet-loud, stop-start dynamics of the music and vocals add to the picture of mental health and works great on this track, showing great potential and excitement for future releases.
By taking a pinch of pop-punk, skate-punk and emo Swan Prince have crafted their own unique sound and path which, with a little more development of their sound, is sure to make for an exciting debut album.
Stream and download Enjoy The Rain here: https://swanprince.bandcamp.com/album/enjoy-the-rain-2
Buy the Enjoy The Rain CD here: https://hellhathnofuryrecords.bandcamp.com/album/enjoy-the-rain
Like Swan Prince here: https://www.facebook.com/SwanPrinceBand
This review was written by Lee Morton.