Naming yourself after a Tom Waits’ album certainly indicates a willingness to embrace alternative music. Using this inspiration, we welcome Swordfishtrombones from the Czech Republic who are looking to expand their profile beyond their home country and ‘Aftertaste’ might well be the record to achieve that aim.
Miloš Rejsek is an ideal frontman with a great emotional range and – rather like dEUS leader Tom Barman – there is a lot of warmth to his gruffness. Instrumentally the band pull out all the stops too, whether its swirling psychedelic keyboards (‘Compass’, ‘Bulldozer’), morbid accordions (‘Skeleton Key’), abstract electronica (‘Monorail’) or left of centre guitar rock (pretty much everything). ‘All Of Unseen Beauty’ is an unexpectedly touching, tender moment but ‘Anoraks’ and ‘Dandy’ prove they are best at performing anthems that are, respectively, ramshackle and polished.
Much like the aforementioned dEUS in their heyday, Swordfishtrombones are a band who provide a welcome alternative to indie rock. They are keen to show it too with a stylistically diverse bunch of songs, full of invention and emotion.