All Aboard!

Indigo Swing

Time Bomb Records, 1998

REVIEW BY: Alison Bellach


Swing swing swing swing swing… I'm running around like an idiot right now, and no one is here to see me. :) Where are you all when I am seriously embarrassing myself?!

Indigo Swing is a band I have been into since before they had a record deal, back when I was in high school and my friend at the CD place in Greenbrae, California gave me a copy of their demo tape. I wore that damn thing thin. Then, in 1998, when I lived in Seattle, they came to play, and I ran out to get their newest CD (this one… now they have a new release called Red Light!). I went to the concert/dance, had my first swing dance experience, and was fairly blown away. Indigo Swing is, without a doubt, my favorite swing band. Brian Setzer? Big Bad Voodoo Daddy? Wimpy wannabes.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

All Aboard! starts off with a kicking, make-you-jump-out-of-your-chair-and-scream number called "The Indigo Swing" (this isn't even their first album and they are putting songs about themselves on it. Wow). "Check your hat at the door / And move on out to the floor / 'Cause you know what to do / Man, the drums are callin' you / Take your girl by the hand / And move on up to the band / You can hear the boys sing / 'The Indigo Swing'." No joke, people, if I had a hat, I would have left it at the door about two seconds into this song and gone off to swing dance with my invisible partner around the apartment. Wait, I did that already. Oops.

The next track, "(Today's The Day) I'm Glad I'm Not Dead," has a pretty damn weird title for a song about a guy who has finally met the girl of his dreams. The refrain, in which Johnny Boyd sings, "Oh, I declare today's not like the other days / Livin' life in the same old forgetful ways / Spin the wheel and you see how your number plays / Comin' 'round to me" is charming and uplifting, and makes me want to dance (although it's not nearly as jumpy and jivey as the first track).

The songs on this album are universally tight and awesome, even the track "Baron Plays The Horses," which is mostly spoken, and the instrumental "Hot In Harlem." It would probably be boring if I went over all the tracks individually; instead, I'll talk about the only track I don't really like: "Violent Love."

Maybe it's the lyrics that bother me: "I want to make violent love / To you 'neath the moon above / I want to make violent love / To you." Maybe it's the fact that even disregarding these lyrics (which are pretty scary, if you ask me), the song is sort of boring and generic. Either way, they could have done well leaving this song off the CD. I have fast-forwarded through it almost every time I have listened to it, it's that bad. And I like this bad.

As a swing group, Indigo Swing is tight. They work really well together, with an intricate ability to weave improvisations tightly between instruments. They are masters of the craft; they obviously live the swing style. All songs on this album (well, all but one) effervesce with romantic spirit and sensibility; listening to this album simply makes me happy to be alive… and able to dance.

Rating: A-

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



© 1999 Alison Bellach and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Time Bomb Records, and is used for informational purposes only.