WL//WH Video Premiere: SWALLOW THE RAT Exposes the Shadowy Indwelling of a “Redactor’s Dilemma”


Auckland, New Zealand-based Post-punk noiseniks Swallow The Rat, made up of Brian Purington (guitar), Hayden Fritchley (drums), and Stephen Horsley (bass, vocals), are approaching, more reinvigorated than ever after the pandemic period, the release of the band’s sophomore album “South Locust”, scheduled for release on September 1, 2023, via Austin, Texas label Shifting Sounds.

“Make no bones, this is a change up from their previous guise. With a new dual vocal attack, voices now soar, growl, or reassure, while the stripped-down format provides for more space and dynamics. Lyrically, the floodgates have opened too. Looking over their shoulder, the band survey the legacy of colonialism, neoliberalism, the internet, as well as broken friendships and scenes/things torn apart, as if by a locust cloud”.

“Redactor’s Dilemma”, featuring the guest vocals of Hayley Fisher, is the second preview unveiled from the 10-track LP, “South Locust”, recorded again in collaboration with acclaimed engineer and producer Nick Abbott (Foals, The Datsuns, Die! Die! Die!), whose accompanying Visualiser, created by Hayden Fritchley himself, WL//WH is pleased to premiere.

The trio crafts a dark, emotionally-charged, vigorous guitar-laden sound of heartfelt crushing sonic intensity, saturated with spacious sheets of guitar noise, poignant reflective melodic drifts, dense shoegaze textures and trippy psychedelic flourishes.

“Redactor’s Dilemma” uses thought-provoking lyrics to suggest the ‘hard to resist’ incentive system at play in the workforce might lead people to trade integrity for a comfortable life.

An edgy and groovy relentless layering build-up of secretive distorted moods swathed in a quiet-loud hypnotizing tension and cathartic release, unfold through mechanical drum beats, and the increasingly persistent pinpoint reiterations of uncanny warm bass throbs alongside sharp bleeding guitar ripples, alternating with searingly abrasive, swelling guitar riffs, to blast with a vibrant blaring uninhibited clangor around melodramatic male-female vocals, fusing persuasive magnetism with high-angst thrills, daring echoes, and lusty breathes, to deliver a tightly woven surreality of discomforting obsession.

Immersive symbolic visuals capture a twilight journey through a mysterious forest to sync seamlessly with the haunting, mischievous vibes of the soundtrack. Steady flows of motion, shapeshifting shadows, and peeps of sun-setting light trigger a dark tunnel of subconscious fear where deep seeded dread and doubt creep angstily into a clearing of dim hope.

Swallow The Rat‘s second album, “South Locust”,  is due out, in solid ltd. white Vinyl 12″ & Digital, on September 1, 2023, via Shifting Sounds. On pre-order on the label’s Bandcamp.

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