Swirlies – The Yes Girls

Swirlies
The Yes Girls

Although this disk is called The Yes Girls, it is actually a release from the Boston band The Swirlies. I had a “Swirlies Experience” in 1995. (And yes, I was in college, so my memories are accompanied by a bit of a fog!) The band played a show in Syracuse in February, I think it was, and they played a show on the evening of a bad snowstorm. Of course, in Central New York, you are virtually assured a snowstorm in February. There was no one in the audience but me and a friend, the bartender, and the opening band. (Again, quite typical). As hard as it must have been to muster enthusiasm, the Swirlies went on anyhow and put on a great show: loud, overwhelming, yet alternately soothing, I was impressed with their efforts and their songwriting, and I left the show with the feeling that I had just witnessed something great. Also, apparently the band contains members of The Wicked Farleys and The Dylan Group.

I only told that story in order to have more to say about the record, because frankly I’m coming up blank. Unfortunately, this CD is not on par with my other “Swirlies Experience” at all. The record consists of eleven weird little four-track putterings, with plenty of the gurlging keyboards, poorly tuned guitars, and muffled vocals, that you’ve come to expect from home-taped records. (This is a limited release album of home recordings.) Most of them sound like items even Lou Barlow would think twice about releasing. (Perhaps they broke into his bathroom to record this? Now THAT would have been funny!) Barlow could at least grapple a few memorable melodies out of his four-track excursions, but on this release, no one seems too concerned with that. I’d have to say that this release is for die-hard Swirlies fans only, and personal friends of the group that will understand the inside jokes. If this is your first “Swirlies Experience,” you’re likely to get the wrong idea. At least, I hope it’s the wrong idea.