“End of the World” – an epic review by SleepingBagStudios

"End of the World" - an epic review by SleepingBagStudios

“It’s not the end of the world, it’s just the end of the day…” – I’m choosing to take their word for it.

Here’s what I can tell ya.  In my opinion, LA’s Rock band Swami Lushbeard has pretty much always been underestimated & underrated throughout their career, but thankfully, they’ve been equally undeterred by that as well.  I’ve had the privilege and honor of being able to listen nearly from the drop of day one as they first started their adventures with A Burning Desire long ago, and for the past eight years, I’ve staunchly refused to give up my seat on their bandwagon.  Heck – I engraved my name on it!  I’m willing to fight ya over this spot I’ve got…but I think if we all squeeze in a bit, there’s always room for one more to ride.  I’ve done interviews of all kinds with this band, and I’ve reviewed…I think, every single release that they’ve ever put out there if I’m not mistaken…our history runs deep at this point; an unbreakable bond formed through the random of the online universe, and of course, some really damn good tunes too.

This song though…this…summation of oh-so-many-things…it sure got me thinking.  Mostly about how right there are in their assessment in that quote I pulled for ya up top…”you can cry if you want,” but things are gonna change whether we like it or not…and the brutal reality is, whatever you might be going through probably ISN’T the “End Of The World,” so much as it is the closing of one chapter and the start of the next to follow.  So I listened…and I started to think about just how much this band has been through over the past eight years or so…what the story REALLY is…and whether there WILL BE another chapter!  There’s a lot about this single that hints at the finality of things…but it also still keeps the door wide open as well – and especially if you consider the context of their entire journey to be here today.

Lemme explain…because honestly, I don’t even know if Swami Lushbeard themselves can completely view just how much they’ve achieved and accomplished through the same lens that we can from afar.  Believe me when I tell ya – they have survived through situations most bands can’t – and with every curveball thrown at them along the way, they’ve found a way to adapt, to change…to move forward.  For real y’all…I speak nothin’ but the truth here – just off the top of my head, I can tell you that Swami Lushbeard has battled their way through the death of a lifelong friend/band-mate in former keyboard player Danny Kopel…they’ve endured through lineup changes, band members moving out of LA, freakin’ car crashes and broken bones, brand-new family members arriving, the expansion of their official lineup – a global PANDEMIC – and yet…somehow…even with ALL of this going on, and I’m sure a whole bunch more LIFE trying to get in the way of making music, throughout the years, they’ve continued to thrive.  I’m not even remotely kidding when I tell ya that 99% of the bands and artists out there would have thrown in the towel just trying to navigate all that they’ve had to go through, to be here with us now.

The resilient spirit in this band has essentially always been a part of their story – because it’s had to be.

The battles we fight, the struggles we face, the obstacles we overcome…they harden and shape us.  At the end of the day, it’s always up to each of us individually as to whether or not we allow ourselves to be swallowed up by the despair surrounding us, or adapt, change, and push forward into whatever comes next.  Swami Lushbeard, has no doubt, probably experienced many life-altering moments of questioning whether or not they keep going & continue on throughout the years, but they’ve managed to persevere, every single time.

Some of us are born with more than a passion for making music – it can be a need every bit as crucial as oxygen for a few of ya out there; and this band happens to have five of those folks.

And so, throughout the years, from early releases like “Where The Sheep Are Led,” to their second EP called Blood Is Sicker Than Water, they did soldier on, weather an insane pattern of storms over their years as a band, and kept on keepin’ on.  The evolution was audible and apparent…not only is it more than commendable that they’re still rockin’ strong after all that they’ve gone through as a band, but there’s not a doubt in my mind that Swami Lushbeard is one of the few I can point to that has never taken a step backwards when it comes to the quality of their tunes.  They started out great to begin with, they got even better, and quite honestly, throughout the course of the past two years as they’ve been working their way through a series of singles released online – they’ve been making their very best music to-date, and I can’t imagine a scenario where a longtime fan or listener wouldn’t be able to hear it.  Tracks like “#Enemy,” “The Truth,” “All About You,” and most recently on our pages with “The Lights Complain” from earlier this summer – from the lyrics, to the concepts inspiring them, to the execution & their musicianship – they tightened up every corner, put in the work, and found the results, every time.

How this all can to be, is always going to largely be a result of their sheer determination and that resilience I was tellin’ ya about…part of it’s an undeniable love of the craft & passion to make music…and in this particular instance, over the course of their five singles released in the process of what I believe is still an upcoming EP that houses them all – YOU have played a significant role this time.  If you’re one of the many people that helped donate to their fundraising campaign back in…oh what was it…probably early 2020 or late 2019 – YOU helped motivate this band to reach their very best, 100%.  Because I’ll tell ya this much…I watched that whole campaign & watched the support come in – and I knew once they hit their target, that your efforts to assist this band would not be taken lightly.  After all that I’ve heard – all that YOU have heard along the way as well – I think we can all agree on the fact that there’s never been money better spent.  Every cent was an investment in this band raising the stakes.  They held themselves accountable to YOU, by ensuring the music they made was their absolute best without question – and as critical as us critics can tend to be, they left us with nothing critical to be said.  Swami Lushbeard has been a band on FIRE for the past two years, full-stop.  When they first released “#Enemy” in 2020, I thought to myself, “well, best of luck to ya boys…that might be as good as it gets!” – and then “The Truth” happened…”All About You,” and “The Lights Complain” to follow…you see where I’m going with this – Swami Lushbeard surged straight on into their prime, right there in front of us all.  Was I surprised at just how good it all was?  Honestly – YES!  Even with knowing the band as well as I do, and always having a healthy respect for their creative compositions and clever melodies, they still went on to exceed any of my wildest hopes and expectations with these last singles they’re released – this new one included, of course.  But that being said, maybe I shouldn’t have been surprised by this at all.

Because truly, I knew they’d never let YOU down.  YOU put your faith in the band, by listening, watching, clicking, streaming, and supporting them through all they’ve been through – putting out their best music to-date was simply the way they wanted to repay that kindness back to their fans & boy howdy did they!

”End Of The World” shifts into a whole other dimension and completely new gear that centers right around the most spectacular display of instrumentation that you’ve heard from this band recorded to-date. I ain’t expressin’ an opinion on that – this is an audible FACT

And so we arrive at the “End Of The World” – and the end of another significant chapter in this band’s career.  OBVIOUSLY it’s the most epic of the bunch – you’ve been reading this review with your eyes open, yes?  You knew where this was going.  Each time Swami Lushbeard has come back, they’ve brought their A-game and found a new way to level-up, and “End Of The World” is further proof of that being the case, right up to the very present day.  Not too many bands or artists that can say that folks, take it from a guy that listens to music all day, every day…their evolution is special, and it’s truly RARE.  There’s a chemistry, a brotherhood, and a bond between these talented players that absolutely feels unbreakable at this point, even when we’re all standing on a cliff as a society peering at the “End Of The World” staring right back at us.  I feel like even if the bombs went off right now, Swami Lushbeard would still somehow remain, and be there ready to reboot the music-scene for the next generation of mutants.

As their new single started out with a cinematic glow and the flash of guitars, “End Of The World” took me right back to how I felt like when I pushed play on Flying In A Blue Dream by Joe Satriani back in the day.  You feel that instant grip of something special unfolding, and the pull of genuine interest – your ears immediately want to know where this song go.  The rumble of the bass is insatiably addictive in this tune…no joke, Darren Scholtz is rockin’ that thang like his life depends on it with a MEATY textured tone that puts a remarkable hook into the music of this cut.  You’ve got Ian Michaels, one of the Swami Lushbeard originals, layin’ it DOWN with the heavy hand & foot from the drum throne with passionate precision…M@ on the keyboards is the dude providin’ ya with the vivid atmosphere & melodic accents in the music along the way, Greg Safel adds essential harmonies to bring out the power in the vocal hooks, and lead-singer/guitarist Don Sprouls found himself right in the thick of an incredibly inspired performance that is quite arguably, the best we’ve ever heard from the guy.  Vocally, I think he’s always shown us a bunch of memorable hooks & stellar songwriting throughout the years…but as far as the man’s gifted ability to play guitar…I dunno…I suppose in some ways, I’ve always felt like that could be more of a featured element in their music, even though it’s always played a strong role.  In any event, what I was looking for in that regard, I felt like I got everything on my Christmas wish-list in the way Don put the work in here – the guitars on “End Of The World” are off-the-charts cool & straight-up wild to listen to.  Don’t get me wrong – there are hooks EVERYWHERE on this song…seriously, from the lyrics to the verses to the choruses…they’ve nailed this track down so immaculately tight that it’s once again tough to imagine a scenario where they outdo what they’ve accomplished here.  That being said…where is it…it’s right around the…hey look at that, right around the 4:20 mark…”End Of The World” shifts into a whole other dimension and completely new gear that centers right around the most spectacular display of instrumentation that you’ve heard from this band recorded to-date.  I ain’t expressin’ an opinion on that – this is an audible FACT – the ride through the next minute-plus proves how sensational this band can be, even when they’re not singing – and singing is a LOT of what makes this band as incredible as they are!  So take it to heart y’all…listening to “End Of The World” is like listening to reason after reason to keep ON listening, you feel me?  The layers of this song…are tremendously well-conceived and equally well-played…it’s as thought-provoking as it is entertaining, and there’s genuinely not an ounce of what you’ll hear on “End Of The World” that doesn’t feel like you just heard the epic finale that their recent series of singles deserved.  “It’s not the end of the world, it’s just the end of the day,” as they say – and like I said, I’m taking them at their word on that.  “End Of The World” feels SO FINAL in so many ways in fact, that you almost have to wonder while you’re listening, if this might have somehow been intended to be THE finale of their career…as a band – that’s how final this song authentically comes out sounding!

But I wouldn’t bet on that.  They’ve proven to be as strong as any band can be throughout the years, and there’s not a doubt in my mind that they’re at their strongest, right here, right now.  The world might be crumbling around us…things might look bleak for the future ahead…”even amateurs produce reality,” and that’s not likely to change any time soon either – but it’s comforting to know there are dedicated musicians like you’ll find in Swami Lushbeard that can weather any storm, detail what we’re collectively experiencing & feeling in powerfully relatable ways that comfort us through their music, and confirm that we’re not as alone as we think, even if it feels like we’ve reached the “End Of The World.”

There WILL be a tomorrow, just as sure as there WILL be more Swami Lushbeard music – I guarantee it.

This is what it sounds like when a band has found that sweet spot, that balance, that right mix of their talents & ingredients combined – they’ve really hit the mark with their latest series of singles released, and I have all the confidence in the world that they’re gonna crush the next five years ahead.  So there you have it…that’s my thoughts, that’s what I think, that’s what I hear.  “It’s not the end of the world, it’s just the end of the day” – it’s not the end of their story…it’s just the beginning of a new exciting chapter.

But it IS the end of this review.
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