Everybody Loves Chris

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AllMusic Review by Tim Sendra

Chris McVicker knows his way around a hooky tune, and on Swiftumz's second album, Everybody Loves Chris, he lets loose with a bunch of them -- gooey globs of noisy pop ladled with his sticky-sweet vocals and guitars that are fuzzier than a lollipop dropped on a shag carpet. Half the album sounds like Evan Dando if he were more coherent or J Mascis if he were more awake, or maybe it simply sounds like the kind of band that would have torn the '90s in half with its tunes. Tracks like "Willy," "Creepy Eyed Girls," and "Not Losing Sleep" sound like they'd get prime position on a Now That's What I Call '90s Noise Pop collection. The rest of the album is all over the place, with hypnotic midtempo psych pop balladry that will have listeners checking their pulse halfway through ("Waste Away"), a gnarly grunge rocker ("Taste the Gray"), a loping country-rock song ("Ladybird"), and a bunch of songs that have roots in the warped bedroom lo-fi sounds of the era, coming off like a less weird Sebadoh or a less drunk Guided by Voices. By the time the record ends with the pristine chamber pop ballad "Forever," it's clear that McVicker has absorbed mass quantities of '90s rock, only to puke it back up in gloriously idiosyncratic fashion. For all the influences that are easily spotted and all the styles he tries on for size, there's never a moment when it feels like he's on a nostalgia trip or doing any musical sightseeing. Swiftumz are on their own journey, and if the next step is as fun as Everybody Loves Chris, you'll want to take it with them.

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