Difficult times can produce great music, as evidenced over the years by an array of brilliant politically-inspired songs, providing a much needed voice for the defiant, disheartened and forgotten.
Given the economic and social climate we find ourselves in once more, it’s no surprise perhaps that Cold Water Swimmers have a few choice words of their own.
When a whole country pretty much agrees that Danny Dyer talks more political sense than the Prime Minister, you know it’s all gone a bit wrong somehow. ‘She’s Falling Apart’ the first of the debut singles from the Manchester based 3 piece band, pulls no punches on the subject, opening up with lyrics “She’s a natural born leader. One of life’s deceivers.” Telling a story of failing governments, associated mental health struggles and trying to exist in an increasingly shallow culture, it is delivered over a dark brooding bass line, with a heavy drum back-beat in full swing throughout. There is a definite feeling that something powerful is bubbling away below the surface. It’s like the sound of disaffected rock & roll just waiting to fully erupt.
The second track ‘Everything We’ve Ever Had (we’ve had to fight for) begins by telling us that this is a “message from the ministry of austerity”, a reminder that life as we know it can change in the blink of an eye. With a more upbeat tempo it feels almost like a rally-cry response to the first song. It has an air of punk attitude and a defiance that in times of disillusionment and distrust, we have it within us to make a change. That what we want is out there when we get off our arses to fight for it. The accompanying video shows the lead singer face to face with a young boy, repeating this mantra over and over like a cautionary tale to the next generation, arming them with the necessary tools to go forth and make a difference.
Admittedly I probably haven’t sold them as first wedding song dance, but as a band that describe themselves as ‘the sound of what happens when you have no choice but to keep on keeping on’, gushing romantic platitudes were not really to be expected. Even if gritty reality is not your musical thing, both tracks offer a tight wall of sound with pulsating melodies and a consistently solid partnership between instruments and vocals. For me however, the thought-provoking lyrics just add an extra dimension to already great tunes, making me warm to them even more.
In a musical age dominated by manufactured, soulless songs, it’s reassuring to see more and more bands getting a bit of fire in their bellies, letting their feelings of discontentment and anger be heard, hopefully inspiring others to find their own voice too. Lets hope guitars really can kill fascists; God knows we need all the help we can get at the moment.
The Simon Ding Archer produced She’s falling Apart’ and ‘Everything We’ve Ever Had (we’ve had to fight for), are available on Spotify and can be downloaded from all of the usual places. Cold Water Swimmers will be playing at the Carlton Club, Whalley Range on Thursday 19th July.
Songwriter/guitarist: Chris Bridgett (Dub Sex, Rude Club, The G-O-D)
Bass guitar: Carrie Lawson
Drums: Selina Clements Woolnough
Photo Credit: David Gleave