Brooklyn act Swimclub’s Funhouse for Friends is a pretty great crash course in pop history. Singer Greg Adams, Morrissey perched on his shoulder, intones his way through a few generations of rock ‘n’ roll music — highlight “What You Want” offers handclaps, romantic befuddlement and ’50s guitars; “El Lamento!” brings in the ’80s synths; “Never Tried” dips into post-punk. But the band’s textbook dives never go deep enough to distract from tunes catchy enough to win a Gold Glove and moving enough to wallow away your workweek woes.
David Greenwald - Rawkblog
The four well-scrubbed gents of Brooklyn's Swimclub have taken great pains to craft a debut worthy of the effervescent, matching-outfits' 60's pop they clearly adore, and they largely succeed in crafting a set as pretty as it is perishable. Keeping things tethered to terra firma is a sonorous Stephin Merritt/Jonathan Richman vibe that steeps tracks such as "Souvenir" and "Everything Is Coming Around" in a tenor of toothsome melancholy.
Charles Devilbliss - am New York
A charming little EP dropped into our inbox this week from Brooklyn’s Swimclub. Funhouse For Fiends contains five wonderfully constructed and gloriously delivered tracks that manages to act as something of pop musical history lesson. There are moments of 60′s charm-pop, swooning vocals and summery hand-claps throughout the record but it also has own share of bite. Opening track Never Tried sounds like Morrissey fronting The Shins, while She’s A Teaser wouldn’t feel out of place on any Phoenix record. With Spring finally here and the impending Summer months starting to dig their claws in you could do far worse than spend a little time with Swimclub.
Swimclub’s Gene Davenport sensed he had a ghostly visitor in his NYC apartment, but rather than pack his bags he used his nightly hauntings as a source of inspiration capturing the gradual transformation of these encounters from the unsettling to the mundane. The result: a shimmering new pop tune, She’s A Teaser, with a driving beat, jangly guitars and hooks aplenty. There are more jangly guitars and some reverb drenched backup vocals on the cracking track, What You Want, which explores the themes of unrequited love and wistful memories.
The Mad Mackerel
Sugary pop has never ranked high up in our genre preferences, but some bands are indeed able to take it to a whole new level, mostly by using infallible weapons like songwriting talent and charming voices. The Housemartins and Belle and Sebastian were two of those bands, and Swimclub seems to have learned their indie pop lesson by heart. The NYC band's debut EP "Funhouse for Friends" showcases 5 cristalline pop gems, hummable but never banal melodies, and vocals that sound compassionate and sincere. This music has the potential to resonate with a lot of people.
The Deli NYC
According to their website, Brooklyn's Swimclub have "re-dedicated themselves to the art of selling out" on their debut release. What exactly does that sound like?
For starters, a whole lot of fun. The album is filled with all manner of catchy surf-rock riffs and melodies that would be right at home in an old Annette Funicello beach romp. It's an upbeat affair with backing vocals aplenty, including lots of "oh oh ohs," and "da da da-duhs." There's even room for tambourine, hand-claps and drums whose beat at one point resembles a '60s take on "My Sharona."
Best of all, it doesn't overstay its welcome. The longest song of the bunch comes in at a mere three minutes and 41 seconds, and the whole record is only a shade over half an hour. It goes by quickly, too. If this is the sound of selling out, bring on the corporate ogres.
Michael Cimaomo - Valley Advocate
Strummy, sun-kissed Americana from New York boys with hints of Spoon and Jason Collett...