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Within the opening bars of SWMRS second LP comes a sea change. You think you’re in familiar rock territory with the Oakland-formed quartet when suddenly an electronic beat kicks in that throws you for a loop. The same thing happens throughout the ten tracks that make up Berkeley’s On Fire – the band’s most urgent, electrifying and groundbreaking record to date. “We started having conversations about how to make something brand new within the genre of rock,” says co frontman and songwriter Cole Becker. “That’s what we talked about every single day.” One of rock music’s biggest challenges is overcoming the understanding that it's a genre heavily indebted to its own sense of history. ‘Berkeley’s On Fire’ is the bands first album through Fueled By Ramen after their self-funded and self-released debut.
Cole, alongside bandmates Max Becker (guitar, vocals), Joey Armstrong (drums) and Seb Mueller (bass), found that in fragmenting and deconstructing that history, there is new territory to be won and something brand new to be carved. “We have such a deep love for rock music,” says Max. When the Becker brothers were growing up and first heard the Ramones and The Clash they heard authenticity and rawness. “It had so much potential to change the way people think and feel.” Over the past decade, rock has become a dirty word for a variety of reasons, conjuring images of out of touch, unoriginal nostalgia. SWMRS want to reclaim the word, make it cool again.