Aftertaste, the new album by Swordfishtrombones is the Czech answer to contemporary shifts in rock music, yet it would be impossible to call it trendy. It’s powerful, exceptional. SFT have changed their sound - Karel Krtička has written beautiful melodies rendering the album a pop indie-rock collection ready for the world. At the same time the songs retain a touch of SFT’s typical virtues, the scruffy vocals of Miloš Rejsek and the transcendence of guitar through unusual brass arrangements. Swordfishtrombones on Aftertaste.This is what our last album may as well sound like.
SFT consciously took a completely different approach to recording. Thanks to the formative help of producer Dušan Neuwerth they managed to make one the best albums of their career. Aftertaste aspires to match current developments in indie-rock sounds heard all over the world. But as Dušan Neuwerth says: “The aim was to make an album, that would be ‘in’ also in five or ten years, ideally for ever, but it is probably just a vain and preposterous wish these days, when artists are ‘in’ and ‘trendy’ for about a fortnight…”
Aftertaste took a long time to finish, the recording phase started in 2006, and the first single, Dandy, was released two years ago. The sound on the recording was the result of long and difficult debates among the band members and producer. “Dušan got a free hand from us to do absolutely anything with the songs, we actually ordered him to totally redesign them. Over the course of some time we naturally started to resist it, we were very surprised by the results. All of us, including Dušan, somewhat alienated from what we heard. Gradually we got more involved in the process and started incorporating these strange handmade acoustic sounds into the arrangements, layering vocal tracks, and eventually every song asked for and got what it needed to sparkle. Although we have yet again failed to make a happy album, the result is great and cathartic.”
During these last few years of our small creative war with the world and each other we carried on working with Dušan Neuwerth on the recordings that have now been released as Aftertaste. Whatever explanation of the title you seek you will find an answer, we have put in all the ambivalence, fragility, magic and resourcefulness - all the components that you have found and loved in our little musical sea-world since the 1990’s. Unlike our previous albums, the sound and production were consciously carried out in the most open, stylish and elegant way possible.
The original concept was to take all our raw noisy recordings made using cellphones and calculators, and recreate them in a form of an album absolutely different then anything what we had done up to that point. Experimenting with sounds, using all possible options the studio environment and producer offered us. We actually asked Dušan to work on his own and Frankenstein the songs in his own image. As we heard the early results of this little assignment, we started to struggle with it, to subconsciously oppose the concept, and as even the producer felt a little alienated from what he had done, we decided to adjust the whole concept a bit. We got more involved in imbuing the songs with different acoustic sounds and layers, helping each of them take a form that would make them shine. And although we have yet again failed to make a happy album, the result is great and very cathartic for us.
The CD also includes the At War movie on the band made by Emil Galík and Martina Geržová, plus the Dandy NYC video shot and directed by Tchulo.
"Very cool sound indeed, a mix of Brian Ferry and "The National" voices, musically we are vibrating to a very good creative work like english bests bands can do, but this time its Czech, be curious then!" Christophe Nicolaïdis (RFI- Musical Production & Playlists/ France)
"The music is fresh, unique, and accessible. The band creates sounds that are sure to be universal in appeal. They are extremely creative and uncompromising in their artistic vision." - Craig Shank (Jefferson Public Radio, USA)
„Sounds good to me!“ - Claus Kruesken (BAYERISCHER RUNDFUNK, Bayern 2 Musikredaktion, Germany)
„This exciting new Czech band sound like Arcade Fire on a day out in Prague with Friendly Fires. They deserve a worldwide audience .“ Phil Meadley (Compiler for Nascente Records UK, DJ, producer, music journalist)
„I'd say „Aftertaste“ would not surprise me at all to hear on Top40 U.S. radio.“ Tom Schulte (Outsight Communications, U.S.)
"A refreshing new sound from Czech Republic! These guys have listened to great music, and they play a perfect blend of their influences. It's beautiful, varied and dynamic. If you like English indie bands, you'll love Swordfishtrombones" DJ Nerd (France)