The double EP “Richard Swift As Onasis” is as creatively fortifying as it is unhinged and unpolished, a primal slab thrown into the fire for dancing and merriment during the chilly months while we await Richard Swift’s second full-length, and proper follow-up to last year’s colossal “Dressed Up For The Letdown”.
Not long ago, the idea of a record was to capture a performance. Before the studio trickery of our beloved icons from the 60s, cats gathered around a couple microphones, and let at it. This is hardly a forgotten art, but its purveyors (and us) are languishing in the onslaught of amplified 1s and 0s, where honesty, blemish and truth are subjected to a virtual recording filters that auto-remove soul. So it’s no surprise Swift, a long-in-the-tooth impresario of all things analog, would jangle and stomp out this tangent of jams that tape-echo a generation of pioneers who believed Rock and Roll and the Blues are a calling, not a choice.
These songs get in your belly and wiggle your hips like Howlin’ Wolf, and stomp your foot and bob your head like Link Wray. Some of them float around like organ music that slipped out the church backdoor and headed to that bar with vinyl booths and a Little Richard photo over the burbling Wurlitzer of 45s. Whether Instruments of Science and Technology, or the tin pan rattle of “The Novelist”, or his own short films, or now with …“As Onasis”, Swift keeps finding sides of himself to explore and make their own whole. While one day someone somewhere might begin to add up all these parts and find an overarching theme winding through his work (probably much like a kite string tangled up in a tree), it’s enough that we have a new collection of rock solid jams to turn up loud, really loud.
Richard Swift as Onasis “Knee High Boogie Blues”: http://www.scjag.com/mp3/sc/kneehigh.mp3
Richard Swift as Onasis “Phone Coffins”: http://www.scjag.com/mp3/sc/phonecoffins.mp3
Album Info: http://www.secretlycanadian.com/onesheet.php?cat=SC173
Artist page/ press photos:Â http://www.secretlycanadian.com/press/swift/swiftpress.php
Richard Swift on myspace: http://www.myspace.com/richardswift