You’d be mistaken to think that lead singer Adam Buhrman isn’t working out any issues in the process of their new song because “Animals” is primarily about Swiss Banks exercising their post-punk roots.
The listener is taken on a voyage of self-reflection while being engulfed in a wall of swinging guitars, highlighting insecurities that we all encounter about feeling inadequate and unfulfilled in our daily lives.
To cover R.E.M.’s album Murmur and form a band around it, guitarist Lane Fielder answered an advertisement written by singer-songwriter Adam Buhrman in Austin, Texas.
Starting with Murmur, they spent a few years exchanging songwriting concepts while also immersing themselves in their growing list of shared influences, particularly from the post-punk and glam/art rock genres. This served as the foundation for a writing partnership that first saw success with the release of two singles, “Boys Like Men” and “Like a Child.”
The tracks, which were both produced by drummer/engineer Sam Pat love(The Bird and The Breaks), gave the duo motivation to keep composing together and brought drummer Joey Alves into the fold, completing the core lineup that is still in existence today. As Hippo, the three started performing often in the Austin music scene with a rotating cast of bassists.
The band adopted a deliberate “wear it on your sleeve” mentality and continued their woodshedding approach to honing their sound in Buhrman’s home studio as a result of comparisons to Interpol and Joy Division made during their live performances.
The two tracks, “RIP” and “Getaway”, were released in 2019 as a result of a collaboration that was sparked by a chance meeting with Elliot Fraiser (Ringo Deathstarr) at Hotel Vegas.
Despite being in bad shape, these two songs drew the attention of producer Carey McGraw (Modern Medicine). When McGraw first encountered Swiss Banks, he compared it to “Robert Smith listening to Morrissey cover Interpol“.
After a gruelling preproduction phase, the band headed to Danny Reisch‘s Good Danny‘s studio in Lockhart, Texas to start recording what would eventually become their self-titled debut LP (mixed by Max Lorenzo and mastered by Jeff Lipton/Peerless Mastering. The band’s sound fits in well with McGraw’s sensibilities.
The record, which heavily references the post-punk/gothic rock of the 1980s, is driven by a driving rhythm section and is supported by an uplifting, romantic feeling that suggests there may be light peeping through the darkness.
Watch the video for new release “Animals” below!