Release Date: Nov 7, 2011
Record label: Tummy Touch Records
Despite existing for the best part of a decade, it wasn't until the release of 2009's debut The Fireflow Trade that Swimming's reputation as one of the Nottingham's most innovative musical collectives started to spread far and wide. With keyboard and effects wizard Andy Wright and beatboxing drummer Peter Sampson's solo projects (We Show Up On Radar and The PETEbox respectively) having already attracted a wealth of acclaim in their own rights, it could even be argued that Swimming as a whole represent the archetypal latecomers to an increasingly vibrant party. More importantly, their expansive live show has always demonstrated flashes of brilliance right from the outset, with earlier material like 'Panthalassa' and 'All In Time To The Shoreline' previously hinting at beckoning possibilities in the future.
From their impossible-to-find name, to their avant-garde video art, to their headphone-only live shows, Nottingham quintet Swimming have never been a band to follow the crowd. But while their proggy debut, The Fireflow Trade, felt slightly off-kilter from everything else on the indie scene at the time, their follow-up, Ecstatics International, appears to have one eye firmly on replicating the success of space rock's biggest players. The swirling spacy synths and dreamy bubblegum melodies of "Kid Global" echoes the feel-good psych-pop of MGMT before they ditched the hooks, the post-punk riffs and the otherworldly falsetto tones of frontman John Sampson on "Beat Beat of Your Heartbeat" recall the glacial indie rock of Denmark's finest, Mew, while there are traces of Doves on the yearning cinematics of "I Do (Come True)," Kasabian on the downbeat dubstep-inspired "Mining for Diamonds," and Muse on the trippy theatrics of "Classic 1001 Dreams.
Nottingham space-rock five-piece knows its way around a giant chorus or two. Mike Diver 2011 Within most competent but relatively uninspired bands there’s often a fantastic outfit desperate to break out. The listener can hear flashes of it, catching glimpses of greatness through the cracks between layers of heard-it-all-before. Nottingham’s Swimming are one such group – a five-piece whose songs take flight to raise their choruses to commendable highs, whose melodies are both powerful and pliable… whose melange of space-rock, psychedelia and prog, coupled with cliché-blunted lyrical hooks, manages to come across as both pleasingly distinct and oddly debilitated.