I first became aware of Swervedriver sometime around 1991 or ’92 when their U.S. label A&M was heavily promoting them. I was working in college radio, and found out that Swervedriver were from the same town as one of my other musical loves of the time, Ride. Swervedriver had a huge wall-of-guitars way of crafting their songs back then, and sonically recalled – to me – a bit of Ride here, some My Bloody Valentine there. Their first album, Raise, was a fantastic blend of guitars bordering on noise, but stayed within pop convention. They were soon one of my favorite bands. The lyrics bordered on beat poetry (“Ex-cop ’round the block, rockin’ chair, suckin’ beer/He blasts flies with his gun, ’cause swatting’s no fun” from “Rave Down”), which was another big draw for me.
The band released Mezcal Head in 1993 and I loved it as well. The noise factor was dialed down a bit, but they retained the machine-gun snare and swirl of guitars. Their 1995 album Ejector Seat Reservation wasn’t released in the US, and I pretty much missed their last album before they went on hiatus, 1998’s 99th Dream. I was in my “dark” phase where I wasn’t listening to or finding much new music. I can’t remember when I acquired the CD, but it felt like a big musical departure. I didn’t dig 99th Dream at the time, but I’ve warmed to it. I still don’t think that I’ve ever actually heard Ejector Seat Reservation.
The band re-formed in 2008 and played some reunion shows and tours, and this year released their first full album of new material in almost 20 years, I Wasn’t Born To Lose You – the album you voted to discuss! So, let’s get to it. I’ll put my comments in the…comments.
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