“this adrenalised debut’s handful of instant classics is way above par throughout” – MOJO 4/5 STARS “the album tackles everything from ecocide to social media addiction to religion, with no punches pulled. Expect to see it high on the ‘Best Of 2020’ lists come December.” –THE MUSIC (ALBUM OF THE WEEK) “a debut album that knits form and content into some of the most spirited punk finery you’ll hear this year” – STACK MAGAZINE “forward-thinking rock & roll that nods to the past but forges its own path into the (relative) unknown”– BLUNT MAGAZINE “purveyors of some of the greatest intelligent pop songs around” – BACKSEAT MAFIA 8.8/10
Ivy League Records is elated to release A. Swayze & the Ghosts’ wildly anticipated debut album Paid Salvation – a refreshingly real breath of fresh air, one that restores your faith in the incendiary, uplifting and subversive power of punk rock. To coincide with the release, the band have dropped the video for their gloriously punchy new single ‘Evil Eyes’ and, much to the delight of Tassie fans (and the envy of fans elsewhere) today announced three headline COVID-safe shows across Hobart (Oct 17), Launceston (Oct 31) and Devonport (Nov 7).
Charging in at a total length of 1:58, frontman Andrew Swayze says of ‘Evil Eyes’: “This was brought to us by Hendrik one night in our studio as a short fun song he’d written years before. I read into it as a weird homage to the delusions of mental illness so I re-worked them and added the ‘psycho passion’ section”.
On the band’s blistering debut record Paid Salvation – recorded in Northcote with producer Dean Tuza (These New South Whales, Stella Donnelly) – Swayze pulls no punches, using the group’s urgent and tightly wound music as a backdrop against which he can purge himself of the myriad frustrations he has with the world around him. Taking aim at social media (‘Connect to Consume’), ecocide (‘Beaches’), tall poppy syndrome (‘Rich’), mob-rule and herd mentality (‘Marigold’), it seems little escapes his ire, even God and the Bible get a good lashing. It’s safe to say we’re not in standard garage punk territory.
On first listen, it would be easy to take the album on face value, enjoying it purely for its many musical pleasures: energetic guitar interplay, pummeling rhythms, basslines that groove and an infectious shout-along melodic sensibility that runs throughout. But that’s the real power of Paid Salvation. While it’s a hell of a lot of fun, it’s also deadly serious.
“It really shits me off when bands have this pedestal and they have the ability to influence so much around them and they waste it by singing about stupid shit. If you’re given this audience, I think you have to have something to say. And I definitely intend on abusing that right.” Swayze says
“I want people to go, ‘I love that song it makes me dance but I also appreciate the honesty. I want the melodies and the instrumentals to be accessible for people from all sorts of backgrounds, but I also want everyone to fucking listen to what I’m saying as well. And I especially want young men to hear songs like ‘Suddenly’ and ‘It’s Not Alright’ and think about what they’re saying rather than just listening to them and going, ‘Yeah I’m all jacked up on this rock song!’ he laughs. With AS&TG, the music is the sugar that makes the medicine easier to swallow.
Over the last two years A.Swayze & the Ghosts have performed at Falls Festival, Splendour in the Grass, The Great Escape, BIGSOUND (in many ‘best of’ lists across STACK, triple j, Double J, The Music), A Festival Called Panama and Boogie Festival. As well as shows alongside Shame, Total Control, Nude Party, Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes, West Thebarton, Jet, The Vines, Batpiss & The Stems to name a few. The band have been championed overseas by BBC 6 Music, Beats 1, KEXP, CLASH, NME, Brooklyn Vegan & more, whilst on home soil, supported by community radio, triple j, Double J, TheMusic, Blunt Magazine & more.
A.SWAYZE & THE GHOSTS PAID SALVATION TASMANIAN HEADLINE SHOWS Presented by Vandemonion Touring, Sunset Pig, Ivy League Records & WME
October 17 – Uni Bar – Hobart, TAS
October 31 – Royal Oak – Launceston, TAS
November 7 – Pub Rock – Devonport, TAS
A. Swayze & the Ghosts
Album out now through Ivy League Records
Available to buy/stream here
Paid Salvation tracklisting:
1. It’s Not Alright
3. Nothing Left To Do
4. Connect To Consume
6. Paid Salvation
7. Mess of Me
12. Evil Eyes