When Punk Authority (Software Recording Co.), Pete Swanson's new EP, is emanating from my iPhone, a funny thing happens: my German Shepherd rushes in from wherever else he was in the house, snuffling and whimpering and breathing heavily. The ears flatten against his head. His entire body heaves. "For the love of God," those large, sad, watery eyes seem to plead, "shut that fucking noise off so I can get back to chewing on my spine." And then, when I comply, his mien all of a sudden reverts to normal and he saunters away like he just won the mother of all staring contests.
Who can blame him? Whether you're listening through high-res headphones or crap speakers, the latest ledger entry in the former Yellow Swans member's solo career (the transplanted Portlander now calls NYC home) Authority carries its immediate predecessors' predilection for drawn-and-quartered electronic paintball to new, extra-cyclonic extremes -- it's a mulched-beat half hour of power that requires a half dozen listens to really worm into your mental jukebox. The cover and promo art more than match the mood: a wide-eyed, graffiti smothered Swanson backed up against a brick wall and slung over the shoulder of an interloper. From the gesticulating frequencies of "C.O.P." to the fracking-drill feedback of "Life Ends At 30" to the title track's spin-cycle upheaval, Authority rages, wild-eyed, against encroaching complacency.
SOTC emailed with Swanson about the making of the EP, how he's balancing noise and grad school, and how he knows that his 20s weren't wasted.More »