RATING: 10/10

They say that growing up is optional, but not many hone in on this option when it comes to their creativity. Whilst we are currently experiencing the punks of the past trying to hang on to the new social norms, including mentioning social media platforms such as Twitter, in a way that is simply cringey, it seems that now more than ever a new generation needs a new voice to truly represent them. This is where SWMRS sophomore record, Berkley’s On Fire enters.

From the get go lead single, and opening track, Berkley’s On Fire see’s the articulate voice of vocalist Cole Becker grabbing a metaphorical megaphone and hitting the streets of one of America’s most politically active, especially for generation post millennial generation, Berkley, all the while remembering to text back a worried mom. The foot stomping beat is one that wouldn’t seem to stray far from the feet of those taking to the streets, with SWMRS big radio anthems drumming up the adrenaline for change. 

“The world is on fire, and the blaze is burning wildly for SWMRS.”

Whilst it’s still bitterly cold here in the UK, the golden sun seems to seep through in follow up track, Too Much Coffee. Chiming guitars burrow themselves into the very root of our ears, and with each new bar we feel an enigmatic energy take over us. First comer, Drive North was a punchy ode to adolescence, but with B.O.F it seems that SMWRS are out to take a stand as they grow into the young gentleman they almost always wanted to be.

Whilst experimentation and genre appropriation is something to be celebrated, it can however fall a little strange at times. Embracing a new age of rap, the ironically titled, Steve Got Robbed seems like a joke taken too far, adding in a few rap choruses, and synthesizers to flesh out a narrative about the harsher side of San Francisco, it’s certainly more of a grower than a shower. An ultraviolet glow surrounds IKEA date, with the warm and higher vocals of Max Becker taking the lead, a track that wouldn’t fall far from Radiohead’s Ok Computer.

“There’s rumours of a new wave… and this is it.”

With maturity comes new tastes, from maximising caffeine intake to changing our musical tastes, and this sophomore truly is a time capsule of the coming of age of not just SWMRS, but all of us. As we grow, we become more alert, and the political and social developments that we open our minds to, from the conscious decision for change, to the subconscious decision to confront our mental health and express ourselves, we develop, and Berkley’s On Fire has an anthem for everyone post 90s generation. The world is on fire, and the blaze is burning wildly for SWMRS. There’s rumours of a new wave, and this is it.




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