Anyone remember Soul Asylum? No one? Well, they were actually a pretty smokin’ band at one point in their career, and from 1986-88 or so, I saw them live nearly a dozen times. They had a second life in the 1990s as a sell-out MOR/Americana band and are primarily remembered as such, when they are remembered at all. They were an absolute powerhouse live during the time of their albums “Made To Be Broken” and “While You Were Out” – raw, loud, melodic but meaty Midwestern hair-flying indie rock. I can see Dave Pirner’s greasy hair in my face right now. Brrr.
It’s probably a stretch to call New York’s SWEARIN’ an “heir” to Soul Asylum’s big-guitar 80s sound, but that’s what I’m hearing when I listen to their very solid album conveniently called “Swearin’”. Just swap out Pirner and put in a brash, confident female voice on most songs; then update the music with 25 years of “learning”, but still keep it in the Midwestern tradition of simple, hook-driven big guitar rock and roll. Usually a recipe for mediocrity, but definitely not here. Hell, the singer got herself into the New York Times a couple Sundays ago, along with her twin sister. They might be opening a Keith Richards tour, a la Soul Asylum, any day now. Listen to this song from this year’s record and let us know what you think.