Three Beats: Absolutely no twinklecore at the Swerp Records showcase | Three Beats | Chicago Reader

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Three Beats: Absolutely no twinklecore at the Swerp Records showcase

Plus: Cajmere and his Cajual label on a new British comp, and the Neon Marshmallow Festival tries getting small

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Swerp Johnny Foreigner

PUNK: Absolutely no twinklecore at the Swerp Records showcase

On Thu 11/15 local DIY label Swerp Records will host its first showcase at Subterranean, "Johnny Foreigner vs. Chicago." The night's headliner, Johnny Foreigner, is a UK group with a recent album on Swerp called Vs. Everything; the other bands on the bill are all from Chicago.

Those bands—Water House, Nervous Passenger, and My Dad—have helped Swerp grow since it began six years ago as an informal punk collective putting on shows in the south suburbs. Swerp began releasing music this spring, shortly after moving its headquarters to Chicago in May.

One of the label's first releases was My Dad's Stunts, whose aesthetic overlaps a bit with that of the revisionist emo scene. When I previewed a recent My Dad show, I used the word "twinklecore," which has lately gone from being a scene in-joke to a borderline legit genre name. The folks at Swerp took exception, or pretended to take exception, and issued a tongue-in-cheek press release offering several preferred genre names for their bands—my favorites are "Meatgaze," "Post-Corpse," and "Michael Bay Presents: Post-Hardcore."

In that spirit, I reached out to Swerp cofounder J. Matthew Nix to see what genre names he'd come up with for the bands playing Thursday's showcase.

MY DAD: Broller-coaster "That comes from the dynamic sound that My Dad creates," Nix says. The band's music is indeed something of a wild ride, alternating wild feedback-soaked outbursts with stretches of subdued guitar plucking. Nix describes it as "an enjoyable atmosphere for all bros."

NERVOUS PASSENGER: Baby Jump Nervous Passenger flirt with hardcore, but Nix says they write "really catchy songs, really bouncy." Their self-titled EP is the kind of thing you could presumably play for a baby, "if you had a baby into punk music."

WATER HOUSE: Foamcore "Water House, like a foam squeegee, sucks up influences and puts them out in unique ways," Nix says. He mentions ambient, folk, metal, and spaghetti-western soundtracks; on the Rosie Guadalupe Wilma Mary Ann EP the band somehow fits that hodgepodge smoothly into complex, mathy arrangements.

JOHNNY FOREIGNER: Post-Polothology "Johnny Foreigner, despite the fact that they're from Birmingham, grew up listening to Cap'n Jazz the way a lot of Chicagoans grew up with Cap'n Jazz," Nix says. There are hints of the entire Kinsella family oeuvre in Johnny Foreigner's jittery, cerebral sound, but Nix's made-up genre specifically refers to the posthumous 1998 Cap'n Jazz compilation Analphabetapolothology.

Leor Galil

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