There is a very distinct chance that Pswingset’s new track “Traceroute” may become my favorite new song of the year. Within seconds of hitting play the simple minor key reverberation of the lead guitar and syncopated drumming begs my attention in a most unexpected way. When the vocals waft in a moment later as if on a humid late-spring breeze I get goose bumps. Instantly my mind jumps to comparisons with Medications’ moody debut LP Your Favorite People All in One Place, a fusion of jazz, math rock, and post punk sensibility, but there’s more here than just that. Maybe it’s the precise, dreamlike execution of vocal layering or the building crash of symbols leading into the chorus, but there’s a hint, the slightest twinge that reminds me of Failure’s space-rock cult classic LP Fantastic Planet. For those keeping score, Failure rank very highly in my personal pantheon of music gods.
This is definitely the meatiest Pswingset track I’ve heard to date. There’s a full-bodied element to “Traceroute” that’s buoyed by the deep rumbling of the bass and rhythm guitar throughout and the mix makes a point of accentuating the low end in a way that gives the song some well-worn weight. As a whole the track signals both a new growth spurt for the band as well as a solidifying of existing style and technique. Perhaps the best part about “Traceroute” is that it’s only half of the equation (or 1/4 depending on how you look at it). “Traceroute” is just the first of two new Pswingset songs on the imminent split 7” with Japan’s Play Dead Season, who the band are heading overseas to tour with later this month. The split will be out on July 10th, but for those who can’t wait for more Pswingset you’ll have a chance to catch them live at Holy Mountain on Sunday, July 7th.
– Brian Audette