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EP Review: Muddy Chanter ‘Swoop’

Brisbane’s most relaxed rock band, Muddy Chanter (MuCha to the cool kids), surprised us all last Friday with the release of their 5 track EP Swoop.

The EP has been a long time coming; since the release of single Poco Cholo in early 2016, the band have been busy playing alongside AJJ, Hockey Dad, Drunk Mums, and Lunatics on Pogosticks, to name a few. Fortunately, it’s well worth the wait.

Swoop kicks off with the insanely catchy Poco Cholo. Bright guitar riffs play off the upbeat drums and immediately get you moving. Before you know it, the soaring chorus of, “You can take it if you want,” will have you singing along on the first listen, with the band’s backing vocals really shining through. The tight melodies and bright, punchy production sets the bar high straight away, with something new to discover with each listen.

Head Right In wastes no time following up on the promise of the lead track. Opening with just a dirty bass line and some sparse guitar, the song quickly moves into a verse showing off singer Beej’s impressive vocals, supported throughout by backing vocals that later offer a back and forth dynamic in the chorus. The lead guitar line offers further texture throughout the track, managing to cut through all the noise and push the song along, without taking any attention away from everything else that’s happening.

As the harmonies of Head Right In fade out, the syncopated drum beat of Trojan comes in. With a vibraslap and a whip crack, MuCha are set to navigate their way through layers of instruments playing off the infectious groove of the drums, defying anyone to stand still. As is often the case on this EP, the chorus explodes in an organised cacophony of guitars, bass, and percussion, with Beej’s vocals sitting comfortably above it all. The song powers through to a bone crushing breakdown before pulling it all back together for a massive chorus, cementing the song as a clear highlight on an already stellar release.

Winding down from the adrenaline rush, Amaranth meanders comfortably through a somewhat less dense musical landscape. It may not have you head banging, but the melodies here are no less catchy and memorable than on other tracks. It has all the usual features, including excellent vocals, both lead and backing, as well as a guitar solo and a big chorus, but it’s executed with a restraint that really highlights the band’s song writing abilities.

Finally, Vapour closes the EP on a high point, picking up the tempo one last time with driving drums and sweeping guitar chords reminiscent of The Belligerents. While not the strongest song on the EP, it is one of the most interesting, deceptively fading out before returning for one last hurrah that expertly rounds out the EP and leaves you needing more.

In all, Swoop is an impressive release from these Brisbane music scene favourites. Filled with soaring vocals, infectious melodies, and powerful choruses, this EP will keep you moving and grooving for days.

You can catch the good vibes of Muddy Chanter live at The Zoo on the 22nd December, and in the meantime checkout Swoop below!

Muddy Chanter Live Dates

The Zoo, Brisbane