The self-recorded Freedom/Constraint by Vancouver musicians Swim Team treads the line between grungy dissonance — on the one hand — and a soft, quiet dream on the other. Swim Team toy with the ideas of freedom and constraint by channeling it into the very build ups and breakdowns contained within. These six tracks walk the line between chaotic and poetic.
The album begins with a strong punk feel. Yet as soon as the vocals come in on opening track “Recourse,” it takes on a new tone. Dorothy Marshall’s breathy vocals bring the mood into something quiet, almost romantic. Within minutes a mid-track breakdown changes the pace once again. The instruments come together, creating more cohesion. The sounds are richer, fuller.
The title track of the album is likely the strongest of them all. It moves quickly between a fast punk jam with rough vocals, uptempo drums and ripping guitar, into a melodic, methodical, slowed-down unwinding.
This interaction between jagged guitars and vocals into solid, rhythmic bass and drums, builds up the tension of the song, and this tension lingers for the remainder of the album.