A Season of Songs is a type of Fun-A-Day project that I plan to do throughout this spring. I’ll hit shuffle on the ol’ iPod and see what comes up. I’ll then write a bit about that song, the band, the record, whatever. Enjoy!
Today’s song is “Intro/Stone” by Swiz, originally off their self-titled album from 1988. I have the song as part of the “No Punches Pulled” CD that collects all of their recordings.
I slept on this band for many years. I think the main reason behind that was that Shawn Brown was ex-Dag Nasty vocals. Despite the fact that in the early 90’s there wasn’t any publicly available recordings of Dag Nasty with Brown on vocals, I somehow held the fact that he was ex-Dag Nasty against him. I really liked Dag Nasty’s “Can I Say” LP with Dave Smalley on vocals and really disliked “Wig Out At Denkos” with Peter Cortner on vocals. Somehow I think I just lumped Brown in the Peter Cortner side of things and wrote him and this band off.
Eventually I think I heard the “With Dave” 7″ that Jade Tree put out and thought it was decent. The song “Paralysis” got me with that “I guess you could say it didn’t amount to a hill of beans” line…it just would get stuck in my head.
I would eventually copy over the tracks from the discography to my ipod and when they pop up on the shuffle, I always really enjoy them but honestly I still don’t listen to this record as much as I should. Their sound is a perfect bridge between 80’s DC hardcore and 90’s DC hardcore, still with the anger and delivery of early Discord/DC hardcore bands but showing some of the maturity and introspection that came about in the 90’s in DC. Strangely the band that I am most reminded of when I heard Swiz is Fuel, who were from the San Francisco/Berkeley area. Fuel often get called the West Coast Fugazi, so I guess it makes some sense that I hear similarities between Fuel and Swiz. I love Fuel and listened to their collection CD obsessively when I first got it, so once again, not sure why Swiz never grabbed me in the same way.
3/5ths of Swiz now play in the band Red Hare. Swiz also recently reunited to play a show with a reunited Soulside and Moss Icon in DC to support the release of the documentary on 80’s DC hardcore, “Salad Days: A Decade of Punk in Washington, DC”.
Great band. Slow burn for myself. Not high ranking in my list of DC bands but something definitely worth a listen.