I was skateboarding in the South Attleboro Kmart parking lot with a couple friends of mine. It was about 10 pm and that’s what we did at night if we didn’t have a show to go to or decided not to venture to the beach for some late night boogie boarding. The year was 1995 and skating up comes a younger boy who wanted to skate with us. This younger kid was Sean Murphy, who was a very shy dude at that age. After skating and talking for a while, we took Sean home to grab his guitar. That night, practice started in my basement in Cumberland and that was the start of Nowhere Fast. I didn’t really have any part in the band, but it was fun to watch as we killed time that summer.
I’ve known Sean for a long time, and have watched him transform from some shy skater kid into the great musician, singer and Bad Swimmers front man that he is today.
Flash forward to December 2, 2013. Another Friday night and another show at AS220. It was the Bad Swimmers 10″ record release party, and the first 50 purchased were on limited edition white vinyl.
There were a couple of other bands on the bill that night, but I spent most of my time in the bar portion of AS220. That night, all the bands set up and played their sets from different parts of the floor in the crowd. I’ve always liked when bands such as Lightning Bolt and 401 Quartet do that. It really makes you feel part of something.
Bad Swimmers hit the stage (floor) a bit after midnight. Yes — on the floor like the other bands in the lineup that night, with Sean playing guitar and singing. They kicked off the set withe the first track off of See You, “Forcing Something.” Although it is a song with limited lyrics, it seems to convey a message of longing for what could have been and time’s inability to be kind enough to stand still for anyone.
“Wash Away” was up next, which really stood out to me. Now I’m sure no one wants to hear my interpretation of someone else’s words, so I’ll just give you the rest of the set list and urge you to go check them out. The set list was “Forcing Something,” “Wash Away,” “Shiny Things,” “City Glow,” “Beautiful Picture,” “Scrape For What You Need,” “Last Time” and the set ended with a new instrumental.
Now I know most of you are more familiar with a heavier, more direct delivery from Sean’s long run as front man for Verse, but I assure you these words hit just as hard with a very different approach. This new endeavor has a much more 90s feel to it with a lot of strummy chords and a happier, upbeat sound to it. It’s like the music and lyrics once had a power struggle and finally realized that they needed each other, and accepted the fact that there would be no happiness if we had never known sadness.
So give Bad Swimmers’ See You a listen. This world deserves it. Cheers.