Album review – How To Swim


How To Swim -‘Retina (or More Fun Than A Vat Of Love)’ (Personal Hygiene)

How To Swim were formed in Glasgow in 2000 by the wonderfully-nmaed Ink Wilson (Gregor Barclay to his Mum). That means they’ve been around for ten years now -and whilst their profile is not as high as I feel it deserves to be, hopefully this album will go a long way towards redressing that balance. In terms of the band’s sound…well, think Belle and sebastian meets Kid Canaveral with a touch of the Divine Comedy thrown in.

Like many Glasgow acts, they have released material on the Electric Honey label (which has also helped bolster the careers of heavyweights such as Biffy Clyro, Snow Patrol and Belle & Sebastian). Erroneously, this has been reported as their debut -when in fact they have also issued How to Swim Start Life in 2D and A Little Orgasm of Disappointment.

The first thing you notice is the awesomeDiego Whirlwind, with its’ awesome harmonies and brass. The excellent 2008 double-A-side single ‘Genesis P. and Me’ and ‘From Here To Dundee Slash eternity’ also make welcome reappearance. The former is perhaps one of the few songs ever to get the word ‘pandrogyny’ into a song, but then given it is about the great genesis P. Orridge, perhaps this makes sense.

Despite a little dropping of momentum six or seven tracks in, the album soon regains it. Overall this is a wonderfully quirky indie album that shows this band have come of age. If you haven’t heard it yet: sort it out!

Retina is out now on Personal Hygiene

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