BEST NEW TRACKS: SWMRS - BERKELEY’S ON FIRE
Bayside pop punk bros SWMRS are back and angrier than ever. On “Berkeley’s On Fire” the band snarls and rages all the while giving you a brief history lesson about that other famous university in Northern California.
The track is mostly about the 2017 incident when noted pederast Milo Yiannopoulos’s speech at UC Berkeley was cancelled after 150 masked agitators showed up at an otherwise peaceful protest and started royally fucking shit up. However, it also harkens back to the Free Speech Movements of 1964 (AP History students will remember this as the event historians claim was the catalyst for the widespread campus activist movement of the 60s) which took place on the campus.
Back to the song, it’s certainly not shy about being political, and the statements found therein are far from sugarcoated:
“Too many, too many motherfuckers confusing this freedom speech with swastikas.”
What’s so wonderful about this cut, besides the general badassery of it all, is it’s straightforwardness. There’s no layers to peel back or metaphors to untangle. It delivers it’s messages simply, with thundering drums and wailing guitars. Take it or leave it*.
And as if this song wasn’t enough kickass for the month, we also get a transfixing music video for “Berkeley’s On Fire”. Directed by Stanley Kalu and Andrea Granera, the video looks like a 1960’s take of a dystopian future. Things start off innocently enough, in an all female classroom where no one appears to be paying attention to the movie playing off a projector. From there, things escalate quickly and violently.
Listen to the track and watch the video now.
SWMRS - BERKELEY’S ON FIRE
Along with the single and video release SWMRS announced the third installment of their annual festival/show Uncool Halloween, which will be taking place at (you guessed it!) Berkeley. They will also be touring this summer and fall. Dates and Venues can be found below.
08/22 – Wehinheim, Germany @ Café Central
08/23 – Charleville Mezieres, France @ O Cabaret Vert
08/24 – Reading, UK @ Reading and Leeds Festival
08/25 – Leeds, UK @ Reading and Leeds Festival
08/27 – Southampton, UK @ The Joiners
08/28 – London, UK @ Electrowerkz
09/14 – Chicago, IL @ Riot Fest
09/15 – Del Mar, CA @ KAABOO
09/15 – Chicago, IL @ Riot Fest
09/16 – Chicago, IL @ Riot Fest
10/27 – Berkeley, CA @ Uncool Halloween – UC Theatre
11/04 – Long Beach, CA @ Tropicalia Fest
* I’m sure someone has already made this point, but I’m getting some heavy The Strokes vibes from these dudes.
Calvin Paradise is not any one thing. The half-hearted vagabond and forgetful luddite currently resides in Los Angeles and how he spends his time is none of your damned business.