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Album Review

Swag were conceived as a fun side project by various musicians known primarily for their roles in other bands (particularly Ken Coomer of Wilco, Tom Petersson of Cheap Trick, and Robert Reynolds of the Mavericks). And, unlike some such ideas, they do actually sound like they're having fun on this pastiche of/homage to vintage '60s and '70s pop/rock styles. It's a diverse program of originals in that mold, sometimes taking cues from straight-ahead guitar power pop with ringing guitars, sometimes from fey McCartney-esque late-'60s acoustic pop-psych ("Near Perfect Smile" and "Different Girl"), sometimes from Remains-like mid-'60s organ rock guitar crunch ("Please Don't Tell"), sometimes from early Elvis Costello ("Eight"), and even from Cheap Trick themselves ("Ride," which even has a Cheap Trick reference in the lyrics). It's not the type of thing which is bound to impress listeners with wallfuls of original '60s pop/rock and '70s power pop to serve as comparisons, but it's better than the norm for such things, and well-executed. Four of the 12 songs on the band's debut full-length disc were previously released, but eight make their first appearance here. [The Japanese version included bonus tracks.]

Customer Reviews


If you like pop Beatles style, you'll love this album. Give it a listen and decide for yourself. If you long for music that is fun to listen to, or you're tired of Clear Channel drones, Then give Swag a try.

Perfect Confection

I try not to give too many five-star ratings. Yet, in this case, it's incomprehensible to me why this album hasn't become a recognized classic, and a huge disappointment that this side project of players from several other ensembles hasn't reunited to do another album. Thus, the five spot. Catch-All is a wonderful listen start to finish, but "When She Awoke" with its cascading chorus is non-wussy, pure pop perfection.


Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap

Years Active: '00s

A supergroup comprised of several veteran musicians, Swag plays a rousing blend of power pop and indie rock. In 1996, keyboardist Jerry Dale McFadden (Sixpence None the Richer) met guitarist Robert Reynolds (the Mavericks) while their two bands were touring together. Their similar interests prompted them to put together an open-ended musical project, eventually ensnaring drummer Ken Coomer (Wilco), multi-instrumentalist Doug Powell (a solo artist on Not Lame Records), and bassist Tom Petersson (Cheap...
Full Bio
Catch-All, Swag
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Customer Ratings