Swerve — featuring singer/songwriter/guitarist Greg Mahdesian, bassist Brandon Duncan, guitarist Ryan Berti and drummer Mark Gardner — has been compared to the Gin Blossoms, The Strokes and Oasis. The Los Angeles local band indeed hints at all of the above, with a multi-layered sound drawing from various genres. Opening for Romance and The Rebellion at The Troubadour on a January 11, Swerve delivered an impressive, satisfying set with sharp and tight dynamics.
Fans of Swerve were clearly moved by the group’s music, even pleading for more after the brief set. The band apologized, saying that was it for the night. During their short stint onstage, however, the band made a beyond favorable mark, whetting music lovers’ appetites for more. The set drew on the melodic (and, at times, quite catchy) material from their two EPs, the self-titled debut and their latest effort, Dumb Romeo. Featuring songs ruminating maturity and coming of age, Swerve’s passionate and committed performance proved that they are another notable contender on the music scene.
To really stand out among the pack, though, Swerve should perhaps work on their songs more and further refine their craft based on their strong points. A drawback to the live show was Mahdesian’s uneven vocals. The singing tended to be static and sounded flat at times, which sometimes dragged down the momentum of the songs and the set in general. Eventually, the vocals improved, especially on strong cuts like “Lose Control” and “Remedy” where Mahdesian’s singing was often exciting to hear and felt much more inspired.