Media Reviews: “The Light Under Closed Doors” by The Swellers

Pulse Editor and Pulse Editor

Grade: B+

One smart step for No Sleep Records, one smarter step for The Swellers.

This is what should come to mind when considering the band’s latest work, “The Light Under Closed Doors.”

Even though it is the band’s fourth full-length album, there is so much more maturity both lyrically and musically compared to anything the band has done in past years. It’s arguably the most serious and honest album Jonathan [drummer] and Nick Diener [vocals/guitar] have ever written not only as The Swellers, but personally as well. The brothers weren’t afraid of having a darker sound, and fans should be thrilled.

The album starts and ends in about a half an hour, which keeps you avidly listening. The creativity of the album comes from the right-to-the-point lyrics and heavy guitar riffs making it stray away from the typical pop-punk sound to a more serious tone fans can still enjoy.

The opening track, “Should” starts with a simple clash guitar riff and vocals such as, “I gave up/I know things won’t get better/close the door/And talked about the weather.” These opening lines may lead people to think about what’s going on in Nick Diener’s head towards where the band is right now. After deciding to part ways with Fueled By Ramen and signing to No Sleep Records for this release, this is a fresh start for The Swellers and it shows on this album. The music seems more relaxed, yet has that angst that has always dwelled inside of the band. It shows on tracks such as “Designated Driver,” “Big Hearts” and “Becoming Self-Aware” which all indicate why we fell in love with The Swellers in the first place.

On the track “Got Social,” Nick sings, “You’re blowing smoke in my face, again/I know you’ll never quit/You got social/I don’t like it.” It’s catchy and the “Let’s think about life for a second” mentality has the listener holding on to every word whether the song is about a girl Nick once knew, or if it’s the way he feels about his music career and where it’s heading. Either way, it still has that catchy Swellers vibe to it.

It can best be described as one of The Swellers best work in a long time. The surprise of switching labels to No Sleep Records from Fueled By Ramen for the release of “The Light Under Closed Doors” worked for the band’s advantage and fans should be excited for what lies ahead for these pop-punkers.