Being the younger sibling seems hard. Being the older sibling of a more successful younger sibling working in the same field as you seems harder. This is the plight of Allison Crutchfield, who has carved out a respectable career with her band Swearin’ before they broke up and she pursued a solo career before reforming the band and releasing a new album this year. All the while, her sister Katie rose to further and further prominence with her band Waxahatchee. But that doesn’t seem to really weigh on Allison Crutchfield too much, considering she’s played and toured with her younger sister band, and generally seems to have the kind of close-knit relationship that one could only hope for with their own family members.
Accordingly, Swearin’s reunion album can’t help but reek a little bit of Waxahatchee’s last album Out in the Storm. Which I’m now realizing has kind of a similar title, but not overtly so. Anyways, this comparison may be unnecessary, considering Swearin’ was recording ’90s influenced garage pop before the younger Crutchfield started embracing this more muscular sound. And here, the band sounds similarly confident in its ability to rock hard while churning out melodies bound to get stuck in your head, the most obvious example being “Grow Into a Ghost”.
Of course, the other factor in Swearin’ that I haven’t mentioned is the band’s other lead singer Kyle Gilbride. Swearin’s break-up was indebted to the literal break-up that happened between Crutchfield and Gilbride. The album doesn’t really reek of any kind of residual bad feelings, and that’s fine. Instead, these two songwriters seem confident enough in their own powers to craft infectious songs on their own, and without letting the past get in the way of the band’s knack for crunchy little earworms.