Safe Unless (independent release)


By J. Bamforth

Pain. Loss. Melancholy. All are feelings that have inspired humans to write and sing and paint for centuries. There is something about a part of your being becoming so empty or poisoned that the only way even to attempt coping with the pain is to explore, expound and express it in some exterior way. Pain has become popular because the audience can relate to it in an intimate and empathetic way. Sorrowful music becomes a support group. No matter how alone and depressed you feel, someone's art is there to remind you that you are not alone in feeling utterly demolished by depression.

Safe Unless is an alt-rock division of the collective of angst-filled music support groups. Swim's album is a true blessing. While some tracks wrap you in the bittersweet and cello-laced blanket of another's sadness, the more up-beat riffs and rhythms can slowly bring you out of the void, telling you that everything will be alright in the end but you have to get through this first.

Every song is a glimpse into the soul of the band members and ultimately into each of our lives. My favorite track, "And Gomorra," dives into the feelings of gray jealousy and hopelessness that comes with a love ending at the hands of another and from the apathy of an ex-girlfriend. I've been there before. You've been there before, and we might well both be there again. Such is modern life.

This CD is a lost lover's AA on a bit of plastic. Every word and every note is from the heart, and that is becoming a rarity in today's music. It is nice to know that I am not the only Gen-Xer in this world who is losing the dating game and getting his heart trampled in the process. It is nice to know that in today's SUV-driven, cubicle-office-space, strip-malls-on-Hurstbourne-Lane and nine-to-five pay-the-mortgage / take-the-kids-to-soccer world, people are still living lonely and painfully lives of depression like I am. I am not alone after all.