What started as an idea to cull artists from Germany’s indie scene expanded to being an international collective under the umbrella name The Furious Swampriders. Said collective – with an impressive catalog of members big and small having recorded under the name – has released three prior albums. Number four, NEW RIDES OF THE FURIOUS SWAMPRIDERS, is my introduction to the collective. I’m impressed. Its sheer genre-defiance alone is worth touting – since it works. I’ve heard artists mix and match odd combinations of styles, placing all creative eggs in the novelty basket and failing to undergird with solid songwriting and strong production. Such is not the case here. The music, overall, seems rooted in folk and blues, but the lotus-like expansion from there is in a multitude of directions. Besides the apparent roots – and various transmogrifications of such – rock is referenced from a dizzying array of angles. Folk, blues, psyche, surf, punk, electronic, etc., etc., etc., all pop up somewhere among these 14 surprising tracks. Now, they don’t all bust through the door at once. They arise in different, and frequently unusual, combinations. Each artist seems to have gone whatever direction he/she/they wanted to go and that is pretty much the stated blueprint for The Furious Swampriders. No parameters and no holds barred. It’s difficult to point to the “appropriate demographic” for this album, and that could be taken as another good sign. The requirements for appreciating NEW RIDES is broad tastes, an open mind and musical intelligence.
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