Wednesday, 15 November 2017
Has Swollen Members Officially Gone Limp?
It's no secret that The Vancouver super-group known as Swollen Members are past their prime. They once held an almost godly stature in Western Canadian hip hop for putting the city on the map so to speak. Most people over the age of 25 can recall how often "Bring It Home" or "Breathe" was on the MuchMusic rotation. Even after a long hiatus brought on by drug addiction and blacklisting due to gang affiliations, they managed to crawl back onto the Canadian scene. Madchild's 2012 return set the stage with his critically acclaimed solo album Dopesick and the following year the group reached their peak with their highest charting album Beautiful Death Machine coming in at number 3 on the Canadian albums chart. 2014 saw the next installment from Swollen Members with Brand New Day, an album met with less enthusiasm but still held it's ground in it's own respect. After that, however, not much has come from the group. They went along their separate ways with Madchild focusing on his solo career and Prevail pursuing his joint effort Alpha Omega with Neph. Prevail seemed to distance himself even further after the 2015 collision between Madchild and Snak The Ripper. While Snaks camp was very vocal in their support for their brother, there was nothing but crickets in Madchilds corner, save perhaps the backup he got from Pimpton and Demrick. Personally I thought that was the end of the Swollen era.
What puzzles me is todays release of their music video for "Supreme Beings" It's their first music video released since 2014 and it isn't even a new song. Although the track was never officially released on an album, it is already 3 years old. The re-release isn't what has me scratching my head though. What I find odd is the execution. On top of the old audio, the video is a messy mix of re-hashed retro television and live performance footage more fitting of a newbie soundcloud rapper. The entire video feels both sloppy and rushed which to me doesn't make sense when you have 3 years to come up with something with a little more substance. A quick scroll through the comments reveals that the group is gearing up to release new content in 2018. If it's a new album they are speaking of, it would make this the start of their next promo campaign. For a dynasty group attempting to remain relevant, this doesn't seem to be the way to go about it. Although I generally try to stay away from negative reviews, there is just nothing good I can say about this release.
Admittedly this is nothing more than early speculation, but the message this video is sending us is that we can expect the same old sound and subject matter coming our way. If they do go through with another album I don't expect it to be a complete flop. The group will always receive praise from their core fanbase. The creation of the "Baxwar" movement assured this. With fans investing so much of their time and energy into becoming part of a group, it makes letting go nearly impossible. An echo chamber brought on by the innate desire to be involved in something bigger held in place with a patch and a denim vest.
For the rest of us, don't hold your breathe.
Check out the video below and let us know what you think in the comments. Agree or disagree, we love hearing it all.
Swollen Members "Supreme Beings" Official Music Video. Supreme Beings is available for now online at http://flyt.it/SupremeBeings. Pre-order Madchild Dope Sick on vinyl online at www.SubNoizeStore.com and Battle Axe Holiday sale at http://www.shopbenchmark.com/battleaxe with $5 T-shirts and CDS. Produced by Rob The Viking Edited by Big Shot Music Inc. http://battleaxewarriors.com
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