(Half A Cow)
Swayback are a four-piece band from Adelaide who Half A Cow describe as 'swagger-rock' in the way that early 70s Flamin Groovies and the Stones are. This twelve track debut album is chock full of tunes from the pens of Brenton Masser and Matt Small - two gritty rockers who also master some mean duelling slide guitar, backed by the punchy rhythm section of Duane De Gruchy and Jason Sifis.
“Swayback’s long awaited album ‘The Quest For Rock & Roll’ arrived with a bang in late 2005. It was like the runaway rock ‘n’ roll carnival had come to town! Swayback are Brenton Manser, guitar/vocals; Matt Small guitar/vocals/piano; Duane DeGruchy bass/vocals and Jason Sifis drums/percussion, with guest Derek Mouldey on harmonica.
The album was recorded with Dave Lokan at Big Sound studios and consists of no less than 12 tracks, each with their own old-skool rockin’ energy. “It’s a long way to the shop if you wanna sausage roll” is the overall vibe and this is conveyed with a wall of garage sound, that rocks out almost non-stop! This is especially so on ‘Birdy’, ‘Inspiration’ and ‘Cabin Fever’. Other tracks like ‘The Moves’ and ‘Outlaws’ have more of a rollicking swing feel. Swayback also have a couple of slow ones in their arsenal, namely ‘I Heard You Say’, a kind of suburban gospel number, and ‘Control’ their big minor blues ‘ballad’.
The mix is the classic drums, bass, electric and slide guitars with occasional piano and harmonica thrown in. The vocals are straight up and come with three way rock ‘n’ roll harmonies and when they sing “….the quest for rock & roll is not what it seems….” you better believe it! So if you like loud, reckless, chunky, laid-back, 70’s blues rock, Swayback is the band for you!” - ADELAIDE BANDS WEBSITE, December 2005
“…Swayback have released a fantastic album - probably the best long-player these ears have heard come out of South Australia. It rocks, it rolls, it swoons and caresses like all great rock and roll albums should. 'Swagger Rock' in the the style of the Stones, Flamin Groovies (before they added the apostrophe) and 'modern bands' like You Am I and Soundtrack Of Our Lives. Very cool.” - HALF A COW RECORDS, April ’06
“Recorded live over a weekend at an abandoned farmhouse in the Adelaide Hills, the debut album by South Australian four piece Swayback, is honest, raw and bloody exciting. They move from straight up, driving rock to all out blues in a matter of minutes as both 'The Moves' and 'Between You And A Hard Place' attest. There’s a little of the new (The Vasco era), the old (The Rolling Stones) and the established (Kings Of Leon) within their music. As their bio suggests: Swayback, are a triumph of substance over style. Who am I to argue? Gritty vocals, hard-edged attitude and punchy riffs, it's all right there. Impossible not to fall under their rock'n'roll spell, 'The Quest For Rock & Roll' begins here!” - BUZZ MAGAZINE, June 2006
“If you haven’t heard of Swayback you may be forgiven. Before I went to Adelaide I hadn’t heard of them either but I tell you, there are fantastic things going on South Oz and this band is one of them. This four piece plays a blues driven style of rock and roll that is mature and comfortable with itself. The distinct Australian rock sound is still there, but it is complimented with sporadic bursts of piano harmonica and liberal dashes of slide guitar. The Quest for Rock & Roll is strong throughout, which is impressive for a 12 song release. What’s even more impressive is that not only is it a strong album, it is also an interesting album. There are enough twists and turns to keep the listeners attention avoiding the trap of having their songs blend into each other.
The first track, The Moves, is a killer opener that grabs the attention like all good first tracks should - and leads on to much greater things in Between You & A Hard Place which keeps the energy going. A nice little piano ditty brings down the tempo and calms the mood of the album. From here the band steadily draws and changes the tempo to build it to a final rocked out ending.
In all this album is good and that’s all you need to know…” - LOCAL ANAESTHETIC FANZINE, September ‘06