Ones To Watch: Swanton Bombs

Oh so British garage punks
Swanton Bombs
Brendan Heaney and Dominic McGuinness are Essex boys. But their love of Television and all things punk sets them apart from any unflattering cultural stereotypes.

Replacing that unfathomable fashion phenomenon - the Reebok classic - with a nice pair of Converse instead, Swanton Bombs evoke a timeless Britpop sensibility, complete with laddish charm, swagger and a whole load of attitude.

But you won’t see these two stumbling out of a West End club with blood on their hands.

There is the distinctive southern drawl to Dominic’s vocal offerings, reminiscent of Damon and co. perhaps. But Swanton Bombs are more punk than pop, with faster riffs and short sharp power chords bursting through their lyrics.

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Swanton Bombs - Crowbar



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And at just twenty, both Heaney and McGuinness are beginning their musical journey with bags of youthful optimism. Brought together by a mutual desire to form a band, they dedicated lunch breaks and after-school periods to practising their art. “We were in a lot of informal projects at secondary school which were all really fun,” says Brendan. “When the last band dissolved, Dominic got into solo songwriting and asked me to jump on board. He writes the music, then plays it to me and I make the drums up as we go along. It works pretty well.”

The namesake ‘Swanton Bombs’ plays heed to a beloved childhood hero, WWF star Jeff Hardy, made famous by the high-risk wrestling move. “It’s a nostalgic thing. We wanted a name with a lot of significance for both of us, and this was perfect,” says Brendan. But who inspired the duo to form a band? “I know it’s a massive cliché but we were brought up listening to all the greats - The Beatles, The Clash, the Stones,” he says. “And then in later years we got into things like The Strokes and Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. But I’d say that the band that influenced us both the most were definitely Television.”

Having recently toured alongside Girls, the boys have already had a taste of fame. And did it taste sweet? “Playing with Girls was an amazing experience for us, especially as we’re just starting out,” says Brendan. “I think there are some similarities between our music too, I guess you could say we’re both a bit DIY, although we’re probably more aggressive sounding than Girls.”

Swanton Bombs release their debut album ‘Smoke Over Swanton’ on Turnstile Music, home to tour buddies Girls and former riot-punks The Video Nasties. Living just a stone’s throw from the Big Smoke, they are both regulars on the London gig circuit. “We love the Macbeth, they always put on really good shows. And we’re both really into London bands Speak And The Spells and Wet Paint.” And the familial link between front man Dominic and breaking solo artist Eugene McGuinness should not be ignored: the latter featured in our Ones To Watch last year and has done pretty well for himself as things go.

Free from the shackles of further education, Swanton Bombs can concentrate on making music. And, according to guitarist Brendan, they mean business. “We’re both a lot more serious about Swanton Bombs than any of the bands we were in before. We really want to make a career out of this and we are both determined to last the distance.”

Well, with good genes, boundless energy and unwavering enthusiasm, they will most certainly make the grade.

Words by April Welsh

Swanton Bombs

Where: Essex
What: Oh so British garage punk
Unique Fact: ‘Smoke Over Swanton’ was produced by Simon Askew.
Get 3 songs: ‘I Like It,’ ‘Stonefight’, ‘Waltz #1’

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