The $10 Stare
The Bad, Bad Girl Of Surf
Thong Song
I, The Swiv
Walker, Don't
Kam Fong As Chin Ho
Hot Rod Bunny
She Walks On Bars
The Backwards Cowgirl
Hey, Mr. Potentate!
Thanksgiving With Mrs. Bellows
Boris The Spider
  Recorded at Invisible Sound Studios, Baltimore, MD. Engineered by Dave Nachodsky. Mixed by Dave Nachodsky and The Swiv-O-Matics. Mastered by Dave Nachodsky. Produced by The Swiv-O-Matics.
Vocals on tracks 4, 8, 11 and 14 by Cat "Bikini" Wilson. Keyboards on tracks 5, 9 and 13 by Marty Canelli.
Bars cover model: Ginga X Cover photos, inside fold-out and all other shots of Ginga X by Ashley Emmer. Additional photos by Swivs & Swiv fans. Graphic design: SpeedGraphic Inc.

One of Baltimore's coolest combos, The Swiv-O-Matics, are back and better than ever. She Walks On Bars is the trio's second full-length effort following Music To Get Lucky By ... or ... The Return Of The Fez-Men. These guys are the pioneers of the instrumental sound of Charm City, and the new CD sports 14 more delicious tracks for the listener's pleasure. Notable national acts like The Bomboras and The Space Cossacks have nothing on these local dudes! In fact, the King of the Surf Guiutar Himself (Dick Dale, for those of you who are uninitiated subjects!) would be proud of this combo! But the Swivs are more than just a surf band. They are able to combine the best of all worlds, from the beaches of the east and west coasts to the southern sounds of Man Or Astroman and the northern strains of Canada's Shadowy Men On A Shadowy Planet. How cool is that?!

--Mark Bounds, Music Monthly

We thoroughly recommended the band's first set "...Return of the Fez Men!" and this one continues the rocking, loud guitars tradition. Cover sleeve with delicious bare bottom can't be bettered and neither can the savage opener a wonderful cut called The $10 Stare - fantastic! VE7-1111 has gypsy overtones and there's a Batman start to The Bad, Bad Girl of Surf. Thong Song is a wild 12 bar that races through while Walker Don't has that Link Wray beat. Where The Swivs score over other loud aggression bands is that they can play just as aggressively and powerfully as anyone but they still hold that memorable lead line. Power trio rocking at its best - we can't say more than that.

--Davy Peckett, New Gandy Dancer - Issue 66 / September 2002 (NGD 4497)

The "She" being one Ginga X, a lithe looker who is indeed pictured walking on bars. The Swiv-O-Matics made their debut in Pipeline 48 and return with another powerful set of guitar riffers and rockers. Heavy riffing greets you on the opener, The $10 Stare, which was inspired by the "incendiary looks given by the working girls of Washington Blvd. in South Baltimore." They must be some hard b---tards if this grungy metal mayhem is to be believed. As a guitar three-piece, The Swivs wisely add an additional guitar track in the studio on most numbers. Three tracks also have keyboards to add some variety to the sound and Cat "Bikini" Wilson adds her breathy vocals to embellish a few numbers, although only one, (Boris the Spider), is truly a vocal. A tasty contrast to The Ox's growling original it makes too.

Marty Canelli's organ on T.W.I.N.E. makes a fine companion to Dive's guitar and it's an avenue the band could usefully pursue. The extra dimension provides just the embellishment that their riff based numbers need to lift them. Marty's frantic piano also provides a great solo in Hot Rod Bunny-sign him up guys. Sometimes the riff hits just the right spot and this 12-bar is one of their best tracks. The shimmering brief beauty that is The Backwards Cowgirl is the only lighter number in a set designed for headbangers.

--Alan Taylor, Pipeline Instrumental Review # 56 / Summer 2002 (UK)

The minimalist rationale of leaving well enough alone is either the philosophy of the lazy or the content...often one and the same. The MO serves me well, as it does the pioneers of the Baltimore instrumental sound: it ain't broke, so the Swivs don't fix it. This applies to the whole 'Matics package, literally, as the CDs are a party unto themselves, enabling one to unfold the fun. The 1998 debut was a café menu. The second release is obvious in its illustration of the title. When you (eventually) get around to functionality and load the plastic in the player, the comparisons continue. Remaining faithful to the standard set four years ago are fourteen tracks of surf, in tandem with fifties rock'n'roll era instros. The occasional vocal interjections of in-house icing Cat Bikini Wilson remain on the cake that list as ingredients a Fender guitar, a Rickenbacker bass, and drums.

Once again visualized at Invisible Sound Studios, the consistency continues. You'll get your swerve on again with this companion piece to the live Swiv-O-Matic served up at Café Tattoo, the bar being walked on. The walk down memory lane, or Belair Road specifically, begins with the familiar live set opener (The $10 Stare) that opens the proceedings here as well. The studio version of the "I know that!" inducing jam is a bit slower than we are used to hearing, but the arrangement is identical. Another live fave closes the studio set where it appears early in the up close and personal setting. John Entwhistle's 1966 Who submission "Boris the Spider" is faithful to the Cat-sung animated version. Bikini's function in the band is to stir it up, little darlin'. The uninitiated tend to tire prematurely of the instrumental trio aesthetic, particularly if it's a one form formula such as surf. The surfboard is a springboard from which to float and bounce for these boys, and with a chick along for the departure, there's less opportunity for staleness. Cat croons. The Fez men have returned.

--Stone Scruggs, Music Monthly / Vol. 19, No. 6 / June 2002

Main | Reviews | Merch | Contact Us
Music To Get Lucky By | She Walks On Bars | Charm City Surfer