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SINGLE REVIEW: Swimming by Sprints

We're just weeks away from the arrival of Irish punks Sprints' debut EP, and thankfully they've blessed us with one final single before we can get our hands on the Manifesto EP! Swimming is a frenzied, raucous machine of loud post-punk rawness - just the kind we like around here - and it continues to prove that Sprints are an unstoppable force that shouldn't be slept on. Luckily, you've got the Coven here to keep you from missing out.

Sprints by Conor O'Beirne

Hailing from Dublin, Sprints are: Karla Chubb (vocals), Colm O’Reilly (guitar), Jack Callan (drums), and Sam McCann (bass). The new banger Swimming follows their 2020 releases Drones and the EP title-track Manifesto.

Swimming is a confluence of hard-hitting festival-ready rock, sleazy garage sounds, and Sonic Youth-inspired experimentation. Opening with the screech of a guitar and an intensifying drilling of drums, Swimming lets you know you're getting into something loud and heavy from the outset. With its gritty guitar, massive percussion, and Karla's raw, demanding vocals, Swimming is a non-stop frantic rampage of punk energy - the type that has us yearning for the sweet sweat-soaked liveliness of cramped venues and live music (fingers crossed, we'll be in a tiny basement venue again soon).

Lyrically, there’s a lot to hang on to, too, which is stable Sprints at this point, given how topical their songs have been so far: Drones took on imposter syndrome; Manifesto tackled sexism and control; The Cheek centred around singer Karla Chubb's experiences of homophobia and having your sexuality questioned - because you know how creeps in clubs just can't accept that you're not into them. Yeah, fuck those guys.

New track Swimming speaks of financial and employment struggles in what seems to be a never-ending battle, as you spiral into poverty and can't keep your head above the water. The song scorns on the increasing lack of opportunity after following prescribed paths to become society’s idea of a "success." Karla explains: "While the homeless crisis worsens, the city is sinking in debt and everyone can barely keep their heads above water, you see an article stating that a new €25 million white water rafting centre is being developed after approval by Dublin City Council. Sometimes you'd just rather drown."

Sprints by Conor O'Beirne

Sprints have hit a nerve. The velocity of this argument comes from personal anguish, yet will chime with a generation. Stirring their unhinged punk-rock sounds with their honest lyricism, it’s obvious that Sprints' debut EP is one we can't wait for!

Arriving on March 26th via Nice Swan Records (Hallan, Courting, Anorak Patch) and produced by Daniel Fox of Girl Band, the Manifesto EP makes for an unrelenting gloom-punk journey you can’t miss. With an autumn tour lined up for this year, the band are now set to unleash their ferocious post-punk onto the world.

The full track listing for the EP is as follows:

1. Manifesto

2. Drones

3. Swimming

4. Ashley

Pre-order the Manifesto EP here.

Catch Sprints on tour later this year at the following dates:

Oct 7th - Roisin Dubh, Galway

Oct 8th - Kasbah, Limerick

Oct 9th - The Grand Social, Dublin

Oct 21st - The Waiting Room, London

Oct 22nd - Rough Trade, Bristol

Oct 23rd - Heartbreakers, Southampton

Oct 26th - Sneaky Pete’s, Edinburgh

Oct 27th - The Attic, Glasgow

Oct 28th - The Castle, Manchester

Oct 30th - The Sunflower Lounge, Birmingham

Oct 31st - Bootleg Social, Blackpool

Nov 2nd - Surf Cafe, Newcastle

Nov 3rd - Sidney & Matilda, Sheffield

Nov 6th - Mutations Festival, Brighton

Nov 7th - Festival of Voice, Cardiff

Nov 9th - The Shipping Forecast, Liverpool

Nov 10th - Oporto, Leeds

Tickets on sale here.

Stream Swimming on Spotify and Apple Music

Review by Chloe Robbins

Photography by Conor O'Beirne

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