Since the fairly tepid review we gave Richard Swift's breakout album Dressed Up For The Let Down in 2007, he's proved to be a grower and surpassed all expectations with a barrage of mid-season releases - from the electronica of Music From the Films of R/Swift (released under the name Instruments Of Science And Technology), to the low-key Richard Swift As Onassis, to this free EP - available from Myspace and eMusic amongst others.
This release is closer in style to his 2007 LP than any of the other releases, taking in as many styles as a Ween record, while somehow maintaining Swift's own identity (a telent Ween often seem to lack). The sarcastic taunts of The Bully make for an amusing listen, literally kicking off like one of The Pharoahs from American Graffiti, the song takes a swinging 50's vibe and overlays the sarcastic jaunts of local tough guy. "Huh. Nice ending, jackass".
60's Motown is the touch stone of choice on Lady Luck, as Swift again applies his modern touch to a classic sound. The comedy keyboards on The Original Thought and A Song For Milton Feher manage not to disrupt things, highlighting Swift's love of Lennon-era Harry Nilsson,before it's back to a rolling 50's vibe for highlight Would You.
A hook up with Jeff Tweedy (witnessed in person by our man BC) has led to Swift recording his next 'proper' album at Wilco's loft studio in Chicago - and if this EP is the kind of stuff the guy is capable of 'between' albums, I'll be paying far more attention next time.