"LOADED GUN" (2020)
Review by Mods Of Your Generation (UK) https://www.modsofyourgeneration.com/post/the-swagger-new-single-loaded-gun-review
"Lee Stevens a singer/songwriter Frontman of a band called THE SWAGGER - an original 4-piece Grit-rock band from Hornsey, London UK approached Mods Of Your Generation asking if I would consider reviewing their new single/video 'Loaded Gun' which is planned for release on the 25th May 2020.
He kindly sent me the track and video to listen and view. I was overwhelmed by the lyrics, but more touching was the video that accompanied it.
"Highlighting a soldier who is suffering from PTSD due to the scars brought on by war who turns to alcoholism, develops relationship problems struggling to deal with its effects. This ultimately led to him ending up on the streets and becoming homeless. The story continues with the soldier receiving support through counselling and starts to get his life back on track and is eventually reunited with his family"
The Swagger was born in 2011 and so far they have released one EP (July 2016) and three singles. During the past few years they have grown as a band, their music highlights the daily struggles of everyday life which instantly allows you to be connected to the lyrics. They adopt a very British sound with influences such as Oasis and many others from the Britpop era but with a slice of punk attitude thrown in. Many readers will probably say "But they are not mod and it doesn't matter I wanted to raise awareness and help raise money for a worthy cause though a positive message. The feeling of the message in the music being all that matters. Highlighting real issues effecting real people is what I personally enjoy about music.
I have always been keen to raise awareness and money in aid of charities supporting and helping ex service personnel. Understanding the struggles and witnessing first-hand accounts while understanding the difficulties veterans face after leaving the military. Many of them finding themselves on the streets, whether due to mental health, financial or relationship problems.
After watching the video, I approached Lee with the idea to use the video message to raise awareness and raise money for charity in a bid to help our forgotten heroes. We agreed the best charity to donate a sum of the proceeds from the downloads of the track would be to Soldiers off the Street an independent charity that work with all veterans from all military forces past and present. Working with other charities that will help rehome or treat homeless veterans as long as they genuinely have the veteran’s best interests at heart as they do.
Collectively Lee, the whole band and I are privileged to support the charity which does so much for our veterans.
Review by Dancing About Architecture (USA) https://dancing-about-architecture.com/2020/05/23/loaded-gun-the-swagger-reviewed-by-dave-franklin/
"The last time The Swagger passed under the journalistic pen, there was very much a jaunty, Brit-pop groove and modish swagger (pun intended) to their sound, in fact Heart ‘n’Soul wore its influences very openly on the sleeves of its Fred Perry. Loaded Gun seems to come from an altogether different place. They have taken the rock roots which always laid much further down in their musical DNA and pushed them, not only to the fore but perhaps even to the fifth or sixth. See, I can do humour!
Maybe it is the effect that these bleak times are having upon us, darker times require darker music and this story of young soldier, injured in the line of duty and finally overcoming the traumatic aftermath to find redemption is perhaps more relevant today than ever. It is built on heavy rhythms and brooding bass, thunderous drums and a vocal delivery which piles even more world-weary weight onto the song.
Perhaps the message is that no matter how hard life is, no matter what you have been through, there is redemption… and redemption generally looks like other people. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, don’t be scared to fall, hopefully there will always be someone there to pick you back up.
A great song, a new sound and a poignant message.
Review by CC Badass (USA) https://www.ccbadass.com/kathryn-s-top-track-4?
"The Swagger are a 4 piece gritty rock band from London who formed in 2011.
Their latest single, released May 25 2020, which I have had the pleasure of listening to is entitled Loaded Gun. It starts off slowly and eases it’s way in then a fab drum beat takes it to another level and the vocals are searching, gravelly and set the tone for the number. The guitars are edgy and sound fantastic with the tone of his voice. You just get lost in the angst and immerse yourself in the sound and the story it conveys. The musicianship is amazing, the mood is just right and they are obviously very accomplished and know how to make their instruments tell a story.
The Song regales the tale of a veteran with PTSD who has difficulties re-joining the civilian world after what they’ve been through. The song then gets lighter as the story continues and with the help of a counsellor they manage to find some stability and a home, as well as reconnecting with loved ones from whom they’ve been estranged.
The lyrics, vocals and whole tone of the track tell the harrowing story and tells it wonderfully. It’s one of those songs that can change the way you see the world and gives you a deeper respect for those who serve our countries.
Review by Noise Journal (USA) https://www.noisejournal.com/2020/05/premiere-the-swagger-return-with-loaded-gun-single/
"Following last October’s maxi-single ‘Chin Up Boy’ our friends from London The Swagger strike back with a new single which releases today. The band consists of two brothers Lee Stevens (Lead Vocals/Rhythm Guitar), Paul Stevens (Lead Guitar/Keys/Backing Vocals), Will O’Connell (Bass Guitar), and Gaet Allard (Drums). The gang from Hornsey, London, plays alternative rock with a slice of punk attitude in all its motion while as you clearly imagine, they combine it all with the celebrated indies Albion heritage, the British style.
‘Loaded Gun’ is by far their best offering so far as they sound more mature than ever in their almost ten-year life as a band. In this decade they have released a string of maxis and two EP’s having worked with producers Graham Bonnar (Swervedriver, Brian Jonestown Massacre) recording their debut EP and Mike Bennett (The Specials, Ian Brown, The Fall) on singles ‘Heart N Soul’ & ‘Want It All’ in 2018 which was well received by the press receiving rave reviews and plenty of radio exposure around the globe. All these facts led them touring the West Coast in Sept/Oct 2019 playing shows in Las Vegas, L.A., Long Beach, San Diego & Oceanside California.
You know, it is all on the freshness and the authenticity of a band which makes the club owners, bookers and promoters to deal with such bands and to finally give them the stage to perform their music. And The Swagger do not pretend the brit-indie band which knows all the truth from the 90s because these boys from London, do not care immitating the glories of the past but they come as a new moniker that is struggling to refresh the heritage as it was sired first by The Who and later on polished by Ian Brown, and Oasis. These are the core influences on the band’s sound and these were the musings of their teens respectively.
The Swagger present the real current Brit – indies music which has become more underground now as the British kids are more interested in becoming middle-class yuppies with luxurious fantasies rather than struggling as a united youth against the system, with other motions and proposals toward society. The core of the celebrated Brit-90s came out of the streets and the alternative clubs and our guests today are comig from that same path. Without spending tons of money (they don’t have this knack) today they unveil a brand new official video for the ‘Loaded Gun’ single and yeah, they have something to say and they have something to shout out for. Here it is!
Review by Jammerzine (USA) https://jammerzine.com/first-listen-the-swagger-loaded-gun/
"The Swagger are set to drop their new single titled ‘Loaded Gun’ on May 25th, 2020. The band continues that magic momentum began years ago with a progression of the originality within the sound and the heaviness of the riff and rapture within the track. Combining what has inspired with what is contrived, The Swagger gives that hope within the hook that gives us that light at the end of the tunnel with a stadium worthy foot-stomper that is steady in the beat and gritty to the core with an inspirational interlude fit for the times"
"CHIN UP BOY" (2019)
Review by Noise Journal (Colorado, USA) https://www.noisejournal.com/2019/10/premiere-uks-indie-ring-the-swagger-launch-new-exciting-single-chin-up-boy/
"Premiere: UK’s Indie Ring The Swagger Launch New Exciting Single ‘Chin Up Boy’
Review by Jammerzine (Chicago, USA) https://jammerzine.com/first-look-the-swagger-chin-up-boy/
"Is one of those late summer slow anthems with a powerful hook and chord progression that defines the swagger of The Swagger and shows the world that they are here to stay"
Review by Luminous Dash (Belguim) https://luminousdash.be/singles/the-swagger-chin-up-boy-eigen-beheer/
"Chin Up Boy is again very catchy. Even after only one listen, the number remains. Perfect Britpop"
Review by Raw Ramp (London UK) https://rawramp.me/2019/10/28/the-swagger-theswaggermusic-newsingle-chinupboy-outnow/
"The snickery vocal isn’t sniffy, it’s proud of its street heritage"
"WANT IT ALL" (2018)
Review by Rebel Noise (California, USA) http://www.rebelnoise.com/articles/song-premiere-want-it-all-demo-by-the-swagger
British indie/alternative rock band The Swagger releases tuneful, yet gritty demo track.
"This demo track doesn’t sound lo-fi or unfinished in any way. It’s a reflective to robust song that moves from gentle introspection and spare instrumentation (acoustic guitar, sporadic harmonica touches) to a rich and rhythmic interplay of acoustic guitar strum and electric rock guitar lines, scintillating percussion, and emphatic drum thumps – and the swelling of prominent orchestral strings at the very end.
Lee Stevens sings in a direct, sincere manner, starting out subdued but then emoting with passion, backed vocally by his brother Paul Stevens, on the sweeping, uplifting chorus sections"
"HEART 'N' SOUL" (2018)
Review by Noise Journal (Denver, Colorado USA) https://www.noisejournal.com/2018/11/swagger-heart-n-soul-single/
"they are an original Brit-rock outfit with great indie flare and a pretty nice brand new single in their hands demanding a little of your attention. Who are we to turn our backs on the dudes and pretend that we didn’t notice how good they are"?
Review by Stereo Embers (USA) http://stereoembersmagazine.com/stereo-embers-track-of-the-day-the-swaggers-heart-n-soul/
"The London-based band which plays music that ranges from Britpop to indie rock brings to mind the pop swagger of The Fratellis. “Heart ‘N’ Soul” is an indie rock tune which includes all the required grooves, all the catchy vocal-lines, and the same Albion coolness we adore in all Arctic Monkeys and La’s tracks"
Review by Swindonian (UK) https://theswindonian.co.uk/culture/heart-n-soul-the-swagger-single-review/
"For those too young to have encountered the Brit-pop explosion then this will more than serve in its place. Those who were there at the time can consider this a nostalgic reminder. Either way it’s a cracking song but one that very much looks to future potential rather than merely past glory. Which is as it should be"
Review by The Guardian (UK)
"There's a new breed of mods in the UK: it's just a pity their music is no good promoting a new breed of mod bands called things like The Swagger and the Brassic. There's only one problem: they're rubbish"
Review by Dancing About Architecture (UK) https://dancingaboutarchitecture.info/2018/09/07/heart-n-soul-the-swagger-reviewed-by-dave-franklin/
"Imagine if Brit-pop had got beyond its “madferit!” self-worship, calmed down, got serious and grown the hell up. Imagine if The Kinks had formed this decade having been brought up on a steady diet of their dad’s record collection. Imagine if pop music had remembered where it had left its bite or indie music stopped checking its hair in the mirror for a brief moment"
Review by The Spill Magazine (Canada) http://spillmagazine.com/spill-music-premiere-the-swagger-heart-n-soul/
"The Swagger manage to dashingly blend Britpop and indie rock with elements more familiarly associated with artists such as Oasis, Arctic Monkeys, Ocean Colour Scene and Neil Young. This single is fresh, simple, hooky and memorable – a winning formula that will have you humming this song for days to come"
Review by Jammerzine (Chicago, USA) https://jammerzine.com/first-look-the-swagger-heart-n-soul/
"With a definitive style and a flawless, well, swagger, The Swagger achieve sonic bliss... a solid hook accompanied by experienced vocals and a confident strut of a rhythm and backbeat which culminate into pure #indie bliss"
Review by Luminous Dash (Belguim) https://luminousdash.be/singles/the-swagger-heart-n-soul-eigen-beheer/
"We look forward to hearing more from this promising band, because the songs they write have all the ingredients to break through"
Review by London Cafe (Canada) https://londoncafe.wordpress.com/2018/08/30/evening-bops/
"Some melancholia, folk and 60s pop psychedelic vibes are the ingredients to get some addictive Coral-esque beats staying stuck in our minds. Also reminiscing of early Arctic Monkeys or Fratellis, London’s The Swagger made a brilliant dreamy love song for the nostalgics of the Britpop era. We can let go our hearts and souls to the divine tender hook vocals"
Review by The Power Of Pop (Singapore) http://www.powerofpop.com/poptv-the-new-rock-n-roll-the-swagger-heart-n-soul/
"London rockers The Swagger release their new single “Heart ‘N’ Soul” which continues in the vein of their debut EP (2016) i.e. a ballsy amalgam of ’90s Britpop and ’00s garage-punk that deserves our attention!"
THE SWAGGER EP (2016)
Review by The Record Stache (USA) http://www.therecordstache.com/2016/06/premiere-londoners-the-swagger-strut-debut-single/
"A perfect fusion of Oasis and The Kinks, as if with slowed-down of Iggy Pop’s Lust for Life. A perfect start to what will likely be a bright music career"
Review by The Spill Magazine (Canada) http://spillmagazine.com/spill-music-premiere-swagger-gonna-blow-mind/
“Dashingly blends Brit pop-rock and punk rock with elements reminiscent of the Sex Pistols, Nirvana, Oasis and Neil Young”
Review by Rebel Noise (USA) http://www.rebelnoise.com/reviews/the-swagger-ep
"U.K alternative rock band The Swagger mixes classic British rock with 1990s U.S. grunge on its upcoming EP. The Swagger, however, is going in the right direction (especially on “Stoned” and “Keep On Fighting”), crafting gritty and grungy hard rock music that recalls classic rock bands from both sides of the Atlantic"
Review by Raw Ramp (London UK) https://rawramp.me/2016/06/24/listen-grit-rock-from-north-london-with-the-swagger-theswaggermusic-is-shared-here/
"The Swagger – slurred, muddy and hypnotically buzzing"
Review by 50 third and 3rd (USA) http://www.50thirdand3rd.com/the-swagger/
"The Swagger, from good olde London play classic British 70s pub rock infused with a revival of Brit rock bands like Stereophonics and Oasis. it has some swagger all right"
Review by Pure M Zine (Ireland) https://www.puremzine.com/swagger-self-titled-ep-review/
"The Swagger have spawned an extremely engrossing debut endeavour that displays plenty of power and passion. Flawlessly fusing characteristics of classic and contemporary rock, it showcases an enticingly smooth style that should satisfy genre enthusiasts of all ages"
Review by Beehive Candy (UK) https://www.beehivecandy.com/2016/07/quality-not-quantity-swagger-digging.html?m=1
"Four really good songs on the debut EP suggests The Swagger have a considerable amount of talent, ideas and an already well developed grit rock sound. The band are upfront about their influences which range from The Kinks to The Who via plenty of other bands, however I keep the references short, so as not to diminish the bands superb debut"
Review by Genius Babble (UK) ttp://geniusbabblereviews.blogspot.com/2016/09/the-swagger-swagger-ep-ep-review.html?m=1
Punk, Rock, guitar, vocal, genius, everything you need in a band" h
Review by System Failure B (Italy) https://www.systemfailurewebzine.com/the-swagger-pop-rock-grunge-punk/
"THE SWAGGER is really exciting for the ability to know how to give life to a rock both "dirty" and rather pop, a band with a sound that mixes many different genres. Their sound is both melodic and gritty and impetuous, a sound that conveys pathos and transport. What energy is there in this song, as in others: the rock of THE SWAGGER "breaks the heart"
Review by Revista The 13th (Spain) https://issuu.com/revistathe13th/docs/the_swagger
"The Swagger - The music is raw, unique and doesn't fit into any category"
Live Review by Retro Man Blog (2012) http://retroman65.blogspot.com/2012/10/royale-records-launch-night-with.html
" The Swagger opened the show with a laid back set of songs, and although the band are from London, they seem to take a fair bit of influence from Liverpool in their sound as they reminded me of The Coral and the hugely underrated Shack. I felt that some of the songs could have been edited a bit, but overall their performance made a really nice contrast to the other three bands that were to follow"