Bob Carr is the moving force behind the Swales. The New Jersey band started in 1990 when Carr began recording some of his songs at home. After two self-released cassettes, the Swales came to the attention of Bar/None Records, who signed them and helped bring about the release of this debut, PLEASURELAND. With producer Gene Holder (an original member of the dBs), they went into a more suitable studio, creating this set of 13 songs (some of which had been on those original home tapes). There's a bleakness in the thematic content of the songs, as well as a vocal similarity, that links them to Joy Division. However, the similarity ends there, as these songs are arranged with a rich and full guitar-based sound, closer to American country-rock bands from the late '60s and beyond. Carr is a smart and impassioned writer. The songs are arranged and played equally well, making this an impressive debut indeed.
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AllMusic Review by AllMusic