New Swears Barrymore's, Ottawa ON, February 2
Published Feb 03, 2017Though the concept is straightforward and simple enough, a lot of work goes into Silly String, the aerosol can of stringy, sprayable foam used at kids' parties and sold mostly in gag stores. The string itself is a precise mix of plastics, propellants, solvents and pressure, the kind of thing only a trained chemist could come up with.
New Swears are also experts in chemistry, but of a different sort. With their name lit in neon lights behind them, their sets are messy and fun, and leave a caked-on crust wherever they go. It's enough to obscure the actual work the band put into a New Swears show. It seems unlikely that Thursday night (February 2) was the first time the guitarists tried balancing the bass player on their backs while still playing through a song, but the manic energy of the room made it feel possible. That night it was the job of not one, but two people, to shoot confetti, silly string and candy into the wild crowd, who came prepared with their own cans to shoot back and cover the band with.
The songs themselves were a touch forgettable, but that didn't stop everyone in the crowd from knowing the words. These kinds of shows are the results of hours of coordination, timing, planning and rehearsing, and when they're done well, they feel like a fucking riot. This is showmanship at its finest.