Sometimes you just want to feel the noise, meaning be damned. Surfing Strange, the second album from Allison Crutchfield’s Swearin’, may contain thoughtful lyrics aplenty, but they’re buried under layers of thrilling guitar noise that demand immediate attention.
Formerly of P.S. Elliot, where she shared the spotlight with twin sister Katie (who now leads the more introspective Waxahatchee), Crutchfield has mastered the fine art of tender brute force with her current band, subjecting resplendent melodies to rough handling in the tradition of early ’90s faves The Pixies and Nirvana. “Echo Locate” suggests a bracing hillbilly variant of Kurt Cobain’s crew—the Crutchfield siblings were raised in Birmingham, Alabama—though “Glare of the Sun” reaches all the way back to the psychedelic heyday of later Beatles or early Pink Floyd. Let’s hope Crutchfield and fellow singer-guitarist Kyle Gilbride will resist the urge to refine their sound. Swearin’ is pretty @#%$! cool as is.