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Swearing At Motorists



It is difficult to find information about Swearing at Motorists without pulling up either a Guided by Voices discography or a road rage site. So, the band may have a few things in common with Guided by Voices, including both its members -- Don Thrasher drummed on some GBV stuff and Dave Doughman was GBV's soundman -- and its geography. But to lump them in with their Dayton brethren would be lazy and unfair. Swearing at Motorists sounds like GBV as much as any rock band does. So what? This is simple, unpretentious rock and roll with great pop hooks that's not afraid to make a big noise. There must be something about the middle of the country that gives band members a greater appreciation for melody, harmony, and simplicity. On More Songs From the Mellow Struggle, delicate, almost classical guitar work alternates with driving rock and roll rhythms, resulting in music that is both delicately introspective and raucously dynamic.

"I'll Only Sleep" is a triumphant clarion call that harnesses the energy of great rock and roll to prove you don't need a high-tech studio and a giant budget to rock: you just gotta have a guitar and something to say. "Telford to North Main" starts out slow, betraying its big rock finish. Both songs are from the Secretly Canadian release, More Songs From the Mellow Struggle, which was released in 1999.

In 2000, Secretly Canadian released Number Seven Uptown, featuring the graceful epic "Talking Pictures" (highlighted by Kelli Byrne's salty/sweet vocals) and the fuzzy pop anthem "Flying Pizza." Then in 2002 the group followed with This Flag Signals Goodbye after touring pretty relentlessly throughout the U.S. and Europe. It's pretty obvious that the constant touring destroyed at least one relationship for Dave, as that's the unwavering theme of the album. Dave, drummer Joseph Siwinski, and several guest musicians navigate a rootsy stripped-down heartbreak album.