Facing New York: Swimming Not Treading

Facing New York
Swimming Not Treading
(Five One Inc.)

Swimming Not Treading is, surprisingly, a debut album for Facing New York, a young band from California. The music on the album is very well put together, and it has a mature sound considering that it is a first release. The opening song, “We Are,” sets the tone for the rest of the album with electric guitars, piano, and simple, rhythmic drum beats. Eric Frederic (guitar, lead vocals) sings “We are…” in a chant-like way as Matthew Fazzi (guitar, vocals) echoes in the background. The song ends with faint, trailing guitars that slide into track two, “Javelina,” which picks up the tempo set by the quick-paced tapping of Omar Cuellar’s drum sticks. Throughout the CD, each song seems to flow into the next, but such a smooth transition leaves you unguarded for the off-beat changes within the tracks themselves. Song three, “Cutting My Hair,” for example, begins with solitary key notes and slow music and transforms into a poppy sound with the lyrics “Dance, dance, dance” changing the mood of the song. This kind of surprise makes the album interesting to listen to. However, the anticipation dies down towards the end of the CD as the tracks begin to slow and almost drag on. Both “Butterfly Clock” and “Fly on the Wall” are over six minutes long and left me feeling detached from the music I was previously so into.