I had a couple of people recommend that I check out South African band Switchback so I contacted John Dirker who is the singer and guitarist for the band to tell me a bit about them and the rock scene in South Africa. John was enthusiastic in explaining to me the pros and cons of playing rock and roll at the southern tip of the African continent and he piqued my curiosity enough to look into doing a South African-themed podcast and/or blog posting to investigate what that country has to offer. The whole region sounds intriguing.
As to Switchback, there is something vaguely familiar with their sound and especially John’s voice. It’s there, at the tip of your brain trying to make a connection with something you have heard before but at the same time it is wholly original and definitely “modern” (you know what I mean, it’s a tough thing to explain. Listen to their tunes and it will become clear).
Track of Time and Better Off are nice and hard hitting while Losing Me reminded me of latter-era Nirvana for some reason, especially the vocals which are eerily similar to those of Kurt Kobain.
All in all this is promising stuff from an area of the world that to me is extremely under-represented in the global rock and roll party. Again I see no reason why Switchback couldn’t easily slot in to your local “alternative rock” radio station playlist but I suppose the fact that people would have to go looking off the beaten path just makes it all too damn hard. Too bad, this is good shit.
Check out their MySpace page at http://www.myspace.com/switchbackonline