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Standout Track: No. 1, “Swol,” a twisted-up, glam-tinged throwback to D.C.’s ’90s post-hardcore heyday. Throughout its new LP, Bad Brother, the Silver Spring-based trio channels local greats like Shudder to Think and Dismemberment Plan, but the resemblance is especially strong on “Swol,” which nails the stop-start dynamics, disjointed melodies, and seemingly random subject matter. “If you want to help me, you should keep me healthy,” sings guitarist Sam Rosenberg during one of the song’s more gentle passages.
Musical Motivation: Getting swol. “It’s a word that people in my high school would use talking about weightlifting,” says Rosenberg, 22. To get “swol” is to get buff. In the song, he takes the concept further, flipping it into a surreal medical condition.
Tales From the Ripped: Rosenberg first encountered the concept of getting swol as a freshman at Springbrook High School, when he was mistakenly enrolled in a gym class for seniors. The word was in heavy rotation among his older, beefier classmates. It sounds like an experience that could result in long-term emotional (if not physical) scars, but according to Rosenberg, it wasn’t that bad. “I just chilled out on the exercise bike,” he says. “Whatever doesn’t kill you makes you swol.”
Listen to “Swol” after the jump.