Seattle band Swallow was formed in 1987 with Rod Moody on guitar and vocals, Andy Scheen on bass, Chris Pugh on guitar and vocals, and Scott Schickler on drums. Sub Pop Records released Swallow's first single (and Sub Pop's third), Trapped/Guts in 1988. Another song, "Zoo", was included on the label's Sub Pop 200 compilation that same year. In 1989, Sub Pop and British label Tupelo co-released Swallow's full-length eponymous record, and the band proceeded to tour the Southwest. The pop elements and harmonies that dominated many of the songs Pugh wrote and sang offered a welcome contrast to the band's more aggressive punk/metal songs typically growled by Moody. This caused one reviewer to exclaim "wow, the singer actually cleared his throat on this song!" Other writers dubbed the bands sound "motorcycle pop" and claimed that Swallow put the "pop" in Sub Pop. Sub Pop co-released their next full-length album, Sourpuss, with German label Glitterhouse, but limited its distribution to Europe. After recording that album, Schickler was replaced by Craig Bradford, and the group set out for another tour of the Southwest states. Due to the lack of available product, growing tensions in the band, and various other factors, the tour was challenging, but there were good times as well, such as the ultimate "El Lay" experience - a show at the Coconut Teazer with L7, Hole, Rikk Agnew's Yard Sale, and others. After they returned, they recorded what was to be their third album, but Sub Pop refused to release it, and Swallow broke up in 1992. The original lineup of Swallow reconvened in 2006 for two shows, and they liked it enough to start practicing regularly, write new songs, and play the occasional show. The lost third album, titled Teach Your Bird to Sing was released in 2007 on Flotation Records.
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