At Face Value - "Swim"
Review By Abby Kenna
“Swim” by At Face Value is an energetic anthem of striking guitars and animated vocals just begging to be sung along with.
When “Swim” opens, with that driving kick drum and punchy bassline, you can practically hear the crowd going wild, like At Face Value is rushing onto the stage to start their set and greet the masses of screaming fans. It’s pure adrenaline from the first chord. The layers of rhythmic instruments build up with an electric guitar wailing over top, building excitement for the breakdown that lands with a perfect drop.
Suddenly the rhythmic, accentuating guitar riffs cease, and a sweeter strum replaces the aggressive arrangement, pulling back the energy just enough to keep the anticipation but leave space to grow in the verse. The lead singer of At Face Value, Alec Myers, opens the verse, singing with color that contrasts the bold instrumentals of “Swim”. His voice adds an extra element of expression to the track, as it hardens and pulls back with the flow of the lyrics. His versatile tone and sharp articulation create a gritty, yet vulnerable reimagining of the iconic pop-punk vocal.
After a tense moment of anticipation, we’re launched into the lively chorus. The long, flowing melody on the title line offers a satisfyingly dynamic contrast to the punchy guitars and driving drums that propel “Swim” forward. Shifting into a perfectly mosh-pit-able double-time section, the chorus just keeps building with tangible energy and the buzz of angst-infused euphoria. Between the call and response background vocals, thundering drums, and that fast-paced earworm of a melody, this song demands to be performed with a crowd screaming along to every last word:
“(Call it lit) cuz I’m burning down everything
(Cannot quit) either wasted or I'm wasting it
(Holy sh*t) I think I just forgot my latest sin…”
Stripping away the boisterous arrangement, the bridge isolates the guitar and vocals for a moment of vulnerability. Although at first glance the lyrics may seem to only be about a party and a “wasted” weekend, the bridge highlights the deeper meaning in “Swim”.
“I'm not sure if this is a cry for help
Or just a proclamation of myself
From upside down can’t tell if this is heaven or hell
Can I escape this cell only time will tell…”
With a final chorus riddled with striking stop time and boisterous fills, “Swim” closes in an explosive and emotive burst of energy. Youthful, dynamic, and vividly full of life, At Face Value’s new song, is an undeniable anthem. When we can finally get the mosh pits back in action, “Swim” will be the first song everyone will be begging to hear.
Stream on Spotify
About At Face Value
At Face Value is a five-piece, pop-punk band from Baltimore, MD. Originally formed by Alec Myers (front man/guitarist) and Jeremiah Douglas (drums/electric triangle), Face Value witnessed a departure of initial members Kyle Ritter and Garrett Heydt. Soon after, brothers Parker Ross and Grayson Ross joined the band, meshing their unique pop-rock and effect-driven sound with the fundamental raw punk tendencies Alec and Jeremiah gravitated towards.