When I was a college newspaper reporter, I remember how we received probably half a dozen copies of Swervedriver’s Raise on cassette from either the label or the publicist. I have no idea if they were scheduled to play a show in town but all of the Arts reporters for the paper ended up with a copy of the cassette. Mine sat unopened … Swervedriver wasn’t a grunge or hair metal band so why would I have any interest in listening to Raise?
Years later, I fell in love with Jawbreaker’s Dear You CD and though I had never listened to any band that was tagged with the “shoegazer” label, I thought that this CD certainly would fall into what I thought the “shoegazer” sound was. Shortly thereafter I picked up a used copy of Swervedriver’s Mezcal Head which, to this day, remains one of my favorite CDs ever. Now THAT CD definitely is a shoegazer classic – walls of guitars and reverb, catchy hooks, and dreamy British vocals.
It’s not terribly difficult to find a used copy of Mezcal Head these days but you have to do some looking. However, you might want to wait to pluck it from a used bin as Hi-Speed Soul (in conjunction with Second Motion) is going to be re-releasing both Raise and Mezcal Head, remastered with bonus tracks and expanded booklets.
If you pre-order the CDs ($15.99 each), you get some goodies tossed in and you’ll get the CD in the mail before or at the same time you can buy the CDs at stores (Jan.20).
In other Swervedriver related news, lead singer Adam Franklin will be releasing his second solo album, Spent Bullets, on March 31. Second Motion will start taking pre-orders on Feb.15 and I believe that if you do the pre-order, they’ll send you the digital files and a PDF booklet before the street date (don’t quote me on that).
Crummy quality (poor lighting + bad sound), but here’s a live video I shot of “Seize the Day” when Franklin played in Columbus in October 2007.