Yucipa, CA – Outdoor Stage
July 8, 2014
Thoughts and Images by Caren Spitler
At dusk on a perfectly warm Southern Californian evening, I found a band hailing from Beaumont, CA (Riverside County) on a local outdoor summer stage. I went in knowing nothing about the band, but ready have some fun. Band members Nick (vocals, guitar), Josh (guitar), Austin (bass), Flint (drums), and Tim (keyboards) play original rock tunes with a majestic splendor of rarefied magnitude. As the cool of the evening started to set in, their music wafted over the crowd like a refreshing breeze. This impressive band creates fully conceptualized, well-crafted, and radio-ready songs that are anything but commonplace. The evening’s crowd was treated to a set of tunes built on a base of eclectic tempos, near- random time signatures, and intricate melodies that end up in unexpected places. While they are not reinventing rock ‘n’ roll, they do make music that is all at once fresh, thrilling, sentimental, and compelling. If forced to make some comparison, perhaps they are something of a musical “love child” of Muse meets Foo Fighters. Still, even trying to place them in any category is selling this band a little short. Playing with passion and intensity, Swiss Alps puts on a decent show. I only say decent because while they have the skills to play and write great songs, one area where they are just “okay” is in their performance skills. Not to say they were boring to watch, but there is definitely room for growth. But all that doesn’t really matter – they are so damn good that is the last thing you’ll think about when you see them live. I look forward to seeing where they go from here. The band currently has one EP, and promises new work soon. I’ll be waiting.