Swollen, a project of Shady Bug’s Tom Krenning, has finally released music after a long initial period of only live performances. Philadelphia label super wimpy punch has taken on the role of releasing “smothered” (out June 25th), an album that was waiting patiently in the vault after being recorded a while ago. I’ve been looking forward to this one for a while, and the first pieces of material to emerge left me even more impatient.
The double single release “Call/Cool” comes in the form of a contrasting dual music video shot, co-directed and put together by Emile Eller and Hayden Molinarolo in Muddy, Illinois. It’s set at first in a sort of hellish dungeon marked by flashes of red and pink, only to transport you into a liminal field that although tinted in peaceful hues of yellow and sepia barely manages to stay in this plane of reality. The songs presented are a perfect initial showcase of Swollen’s energy– “Call” creeps around calmly and explodes resolutely guised in demonic post-punk and robotic language, while “Cool” attempts to patch the wound right after with a tormenting drone ballad. In my experience seeing them, this desire for contrast has been instrumental in shaping the face of Swollen; a contrast reminiscent of Tom’s other projects, but fundamentally displaced from them in nature and intent.
Follow Tom Krenning on Instagram here.
Follow super wimpy punch on Instagram here.
Pre-order “smothered” cassette or digital album via Bandcamp here.
Watch “Call/Cool” via Youtube below: