Nicolle Swims, of local gunk-pop trio Black Ends, takes immediate charge with her commanding guitar playing, channeling catchy riffs and bluesy sensibilities through warped effects, scuzzy tones, and math-rock jolti-ness. The recurring lyrical theme of alienation found in Swims’ music is enhanced by her unique and cryptic vocal delivery which embraces her outsider status. In March 2019, her band released their debut EP, Sellout, which has been widely acclaimed within the Seattle music scene, getting featured in such publications as the Seattle Times, The Stranger and KEXP. Join us tonight for a solo set of Swims’ music, stripped down from its regular trio context.
“Black Ends’ self-described gunk-pop is about as sweet as that wad of asphalt-crusted bubblegum you found stuck on the bottom of your favorite boots. Much like the legendary grunge bands that influenced the Seattle trio, Black Ends is artfully adept at smothering familiar pop and rock structures with near-toxic levels of grime; but please don’t call them “post-grunge”, the term used to describe the major-label wave of flannel-clad bands trying to capitalize on grunge’s aesthetic. If you must, “post-post-grunge” may be more apt at capturing Black Ends’ reaction against this type of commercialization, but I digress… Back in March of 2019, the band released their debut EP, Sellout, which has been widely acclaimed within the Seattle music scene, getting featured on publications such as the Seattle Times and The Stranger, as well as being a favorite on beloved Seattle radio station KEXP. While the EP serves as an effective window into their sound, Black Ends’ music is most gripping in the context of their energetic and dynamic live performances, which they took on a successful DIY tour down the west coast last summer. Bandleader Nicolle Swims takes charge with her commanding guitar playing, channeling catchy riffs and bluesy sensibilities through warped effects, scuzzy tones, and math-rock joltiness. The recurring lyrical theme of alienation is enhanced by Swims’ unique and cryptic vocal delivery that embraces her outsider status. Backing Swims is a talented rhythm section that seems to exponentially increase in inter-band chemistry with each show they play; Bassist Ben Swanson and drummer Jon Model are so tight they appear loose, like a runaway train threatening to veer off the tracks at any moment, yet somehow managing to be in the right place at the right time. Whether going off into a noisy freakout or a jammy detour the trio is always in sync and able to turn on a dime. “ – Jake Ingalls
Live from Band in Seattle at Victory Studios