What's F'n Next? Swearin'

By LIZ PELLY  |  October 18, 2012

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Allison Crutchfield grew up in the punk-rock world of booking your own tours, sleeping on floors, and releasing your own records. As a teenager in Birmingham, Alabama, she played in bands like P.S. Eliot and the Ackleys, inspired by the DIY ethos of local, all-ages show space Cave 9. And with her newest band, Swearin', she's released one of the best records of the year.

Traveling from basement show to basement show in her formative years eventually landed Crutchfield in Brooklyn, where she moved last year and started Swearin' with her boyfriend, Kyle Gilbride of Big Soda. In June, the band released their debut self-titled LP — 12 tracks of hooky, '90s-inspired indie rock, with huge guitars and perfect punk poetry.

Now, Swearin' are a punk-rock band at a crossroads, straddling the line between the particular underground circuit they were raised on, and the broader world of indie rock. After a year of playing around Brooklyn and then relocating to Philadelphia, the band quickly attracted praise from the likes of Pitchfork and the New York Times, and were picked up as opening act on a string of upcoming dates with Japandroids.

"It's something that can get really tricky," says Crutchfield. "We're at that point where we're being offered cool shows and people are asking us to do articles in magazines and newspapers, labels are coming to us asking about doing records. . . . You want to say yes to everything, but for us, we quickly had to say no. We need to really think about what we want, and really think about where our values are."

And that means staying true to their roots. "We've been involved in punk since we were teenagers," Crutchfield adds. "We can put out records for ourselves. We can book tours for ourselves. We don't need anyone else to do that for us."

Listen to Swearin' live at wfnx.com

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