Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Shawn Biggs at Studio Paradiso, San Francisco, California
The songs that the Flint, Michigan band The Swellers make is concerned with those folks who feel like everything's been rusting out for a good long while now. They've been dealing with the back-stabbers and the snakes for some time. They often live with them. They are people who have found their way into the messes that don't seem to clear up without a fight or ten. They are the kinds of messes that are almost more existential, more of the higher order sort that they're unable to be sorted easily. It takes more than time to undo them. There has to be a total disruption to affect them.
The people that Nick Diener sings about have fallen flat on their faces more times than they'd like to have fallen that way and they've always understood their predicaments, but they never understand why others don't see their own lots as clearly. There is a plentitude of hard times roaring through these agitated punk songs. They are those times that could change completely with a simple kindness. The complexity of them is still there and they don't vanish, but someone offering a bed or a cup of coffee and a meal, could mean all of the difference in regaining some kind of hope for the clouds breaking. These people are dealing with shitty hands all the time and Diener sings about coming to grips with the knowledge that these hands exist and they're going to get dealt out not just from time-to-time, but regularly. You'll be holding some real losers frequently and he sings, "You know, putting the cards face down is part of the game," just to remind everyone how luck actually has us all by the neck.