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It's Sink or Swim Time For East of Sweden

"All artwork and packaging for the CD was created, printed, and put together by the band," says Jeff O'Brien of East of Sweden, who began work early this year on an 8-song full-length called Sink or Swim with Mario Quintero at Black Box Studios on Broadway in Golden Hill.

The CD will be released digitally on BandCamp and elsewhere after the release party on Saturday, August 18 at Soda Bar, (with Gran Tarantula, Idlehands, and One I Red also on the bill).

None

Asked about the title Sink or Swim and the ominous cover photo, O'Brien says "Although we want people to come to their own conclusions about the meaning of the album, the overall feeling that is portrayed with the art and music is the conscious and unconscious reaction of being stuck in a situation, without knowing how it’s going to end up and sort of feeling powerless to do anything about it. Like, when you’re a kid and your parents have this control over you and tell you what to do and not to do, except that this is now coming from an adult perspective in the same position. Parents are replaced with norms, society and government."

"It’s also about repetition and routine, and continuing to do the same thing while expecting a different result. It's a record that tries to capture a personal and at the same time universal perspective."

Having earlier recorded a set of demos, this will be the band's first full-length. The lead-off single "Faceless Crowd" will debut on ReverbNation.

So what does O'Brien think will enable East of Sweden to stand out in a town loaded with indie post-punk dreampops? "I think it's the style of the music. It is powerful rock with big sounding guitars, and a locked in rhythm section which is not ordinary for a three piece. People are amazed at the sound we project from so few musicians. The tracks also seem to identify with people. The music is rock at its core, with dancey undertones that make people want to groove along."

"It's reminiscent of post-punk rock glory days, with a just a hint of modern mixed in, which makes it familiar and new at the same time."

O'Brien says the band is "rapidly rising in San Diego," a somewhat generic assertion that I asked him to elaborate on. "Rapidly rising as we have been getting support from who I would consider some of the important music personalities in town, from Tim Pyles to Robin Roth, NBC Sound Diego, and SD Dialed in and Owl & Bear...all of this is within just a few months of putting out our first demo and playing our first show."

"Granted, we have history with previous bands [Syndicate, SocketSeven, etc], and had contacts to get the music out there, but the positive feedback and continually growing list of opportunities has been extremely encouraging."

That said, it hasn't been all that long since the band experienced what O’Brien calls “Our worst show ever, on opening night of the tour. We played Bakersfield, we won’t mention the venue, but they stuck us in this back room while the DJ continued to spin in the main room while we were playing. Let’s just say our audience boiled down to a bartender and one cool-ass local who gave us props the whole time.”

“That same night, someone got smashed in the face with a barstool, and multiple people got arrested for fighting. We love Bakersfield!”

The aforementioned cool-ass Bakersfield local can be seen at the beginning of the band's video for "Murphy's Lawyer":

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6IsqBacPYnQ

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"All artwork and packaging for the CD was created, printed, and put together by the band," says Jeff O'Brien of East of Sweden, who began work early this year on an 8-song full-length called Sink or Swim with Mario Quintero at Black Box Studios on Broadway in Golden Hill.

The CD will be released digitally on BandCamp and elsewhere after the release party on Saturday, August 18 at Soda Bar, (with Gran Tarantula, Idlehands, and One I Red also on the bill).

None

Asked about the title Sink or Swim and the ominous cover photo, O'Brien says "Although we want people to come to their own conclusions about the meaning of the album, the overall feeling that is portrayed with the art and music is the conscious and unconscious reaction of being stuck in a situation, without knowing how it’s going to end up and sort of feeling powerless to do anything about it. Like, when you’re a kid and your parents have this control over you and tell you what to do and not to do, except that this is now coming from an adult perspective in the same position. Parents are replaced with norms, society and government."

"It’s also about repetition and routine, and continuing to do the same thing while expecting a different result. It's a record that tries to capture a personal and at the same time universal perspective."

Having earlier recorded a set of demos, this will be the band's first full-length. The lead-off single "Faceless Crowd" will debut on ReverbNation.

So what does O'Brien think will enable East of Sweden to stand out in a town loaded with indie post-punk dreampops? "I think it's the style of the music. It is powerful rock with big sounding guitars, and a locked in rhythm section which is not ordinary for a three piece. People are amazed at the sound we project from so few musicians. The tracks also seem to identify with people. The music is rock at its core, with dancey undertones that make people want to groove along."

"It's reminiscent of post-punk rock glory days, with a just a hint of modern mixed in, which makes it familiar and new at the same time."

O'Brien says the band is "rapidly rising in San Diego," a somewhat generic assertion that I asked him to elaborate on. "Rapidly rising as we have been getting support from who I would consider some of the important music personalities in town, from Tim Pyles to Robin Roth, NBC Sound Diego, and SD Dialed in and Owl & Bear...all of this is within just a few months of putting out our first demo and playing our first show."

"Granted, we have history with previous bands [Syndicate, SocketSeven, etc], and had contacts to get the music out there, but the positive feedback and continually growing list of opportunities has been extremely encouraging."

That said, it hasn't been all that long since the band experienced what O’Brien calls “Our worst show ever, on opening night of the tour. We played Bakersfield, we won’t mention the venue, but they stuck us in this back room while the DJ continued to spin in the main room while we were playing. Let’s just say our audience boiled down to a bartender and one cool-ass local who gave us props the whole time.”

“That same night, someone got smashed in the face with a barstool, and multiple people got arrested for fighting. We love Bakersfield!”

The aforementioned cool-ass Bakersfield local can be seen at the beginning of the band's video for "Murphy's Lawyer":

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6IsqBacPYnQ

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