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[Off The Record]
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The members of Swag represent a diverse cross-section of reasonably well established personalities from the roots and rock worlds. There’s drummer Ken Coomer from alterna-country luminaries Wilco, bassist Tom Petersson from the veteran Chicago rock band Cheap Trick, guitarist Robert Reynolds from the Nashville outfit the Mavericks, keyboardist Jerry Dale McFadden from modern-rock hitmakers Sixpence None the Richer, and Oklahoma-born singer/songwriter Doug Powell. But Catch-All sounds less like the work of a seasoned supergroup than like a gang of California kids bashing out shamelessly hook-filled pop songs in their garage after discovering the Beatles’ " White Album. " McCartneyesque ballads, Kinksy rave-ups, and broad ELO-style harmony-driven rockers abound. In fact, you won’t find much that sounds too much like Wilco, Cheap Trick, or the Mavericks here. From the nonsense-syllable harmonies that kick off " Lone, " the album’s first track, to the lush piano-and-guitar melodies that adorn " She’s Deceiving, " most of Catch-All would have been right at home on the charts in 1962 or 1972. You could accuse Swag of doing little more than reinventing the wheel here. But, really, they’re just keeping it spinning.

(Swag perform upstairs at the Middle East next Sunday, April 22. Call 864-EAST.)


Issue Date: April 12 - 19, 2001

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