With members hailing from Auckland and Austin and a musical pedigree that includes bands such as Body Corporate, Deathbeam, Lost Rockets and My Education — Swallow the Rat offers a unique mix of wiry NZ post-punk and Texas psychedelia.
The band’s debut full-length, Leaving Room often feels electrifyingly spontaneous yet staunchly assured — like tightly wound intensity that seems to unravel only at the exact perfect moment. The sound rises and falls to reflect these ten meditations on change, empathy, and regret, and it’s in these sprawling dynamics and varying shades that Swallow The Rat thrives, welcoming the listener into uncharted territory along with them.
Recorded live over just three days, Leaving Room captures the collision of driving riffs and hazy atmosphere that defines Swallow The Rat’s sound. Drummer Hayden Fritchley’s twitching rhythms lock in with the propulsion of Stephen Horsley’s bass to provide the bedrock for guitarists Brian Purington — a native of Austin, Texas — and Sam Vercoe to unleash a twin guitar attack, which swings from cutting post-punk to raw shoegaze. The songs twist and boil from plaintive passages to noise-tinged walls of sound, an ever-evolving cacophony echoing the challenge of shedding the baggage of the past while holding on to what truly matters.
Proving that musical synergy is not restricted by geography, Swallow the Rat is a sonic force to be reckoned with.