Julian Cope presents Head Heritage

Swervedriver
Raise


Released 1991 on Creation/A & M
Reviewed by Le Samourai, 25/07/2000ce


What an abosolutely killer “monster” LP! (or in my case CD!) Swervedriver kick up an audio hurricane here that runs you over
and then sweeps you up in its swirling mystery. Swervedriver were
apart of (or should I say pigeonholed into?) the burgeoning
“Shoegazer” dreampop rock scene right along with bands like Lush,
Ride, Curve, Slowdive, Catherine Wheel, Kitchens Of Distinction,
The Pale Saints, The Boo Radleys, Chapterhouse, Moose, Adorable
and of course the band that started it all - My Bloody Valentine. Yet they put a torch to that sound becuase no matter what the mood or tempo is on this debut album their sound just burns!

Swervedriver do borrow a bit from My Bloody Valentine and Sonic
Youth but don’t forget they’re serious fans of the Stooges and
The Who too (in fact, they named their band “Shake Appeal” (yes,
after The Stooges song!) before calling themselves Swervedriver.)
Somehow, they managed to tap into some of that high octane
Stooges drive into their already otherworldly, fervent engine and
the results are just incredible!

Lead singer/songwriter/guitarist Adam Franklin’s persona on the
mic is elusive. Your guess is as good as mine as to what he’s onto on any of these songs. “Sci Flyer” might be about alien abduction, “Son Of A Mustang Ford” might be about driving to get
away from your troubles and “Rave Down” might be a put down of
the local UK techno/rave scene. Yet Adam sings them in such a coolly detached manner you wonder if he even cares at all.

Swervedriver were one of the first 1990’s bands to completely
redefine “Rock” for me and for the curious Raise is a great place
to start. And if you’re hip to this hellacious debut disc then
please check out their later efforts (in chronological order):
Mezcal Head (just as intense as Raise), Ejector Seat Reservation
(what many consider their true masterpiece - basically they
channeled their sound into “pop tunes”) and 99th Dream (another
heady brew of intense “pop tunes.”)


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