Album Review: Swervedriver – I Wasn’t Born To Lose You – released 2nd March – Review by Killian Laher
All your nineties chancer bands are, one by one, returning with a vengeance. Swervedriver have returned SEVENTEEN years after their last album 99th Dream with this, their fifth album. Opener Autodidact is like a perfect early 90s time capsule with Adam Franklin’s somewhat drowned vocals combined with Jimmy Hartridge’s guitars which manage to be jangly and shoegaze at the same time. The guitars hit equally hard on Last Rites which following fast on the heels of the previous track represent a strong opening to the album bouncing back from the indistinct, less shoegazer-y Ejector Seat Reservation and 99th Dream.
This collection more properly mirrors their earlier output, and many tracks such as For A Day Like Tomorrow and Setting Sun don’t deviate much from their somewhat narrow template, though the former features Franklin and Hartridge unleashing some glorious guitar licks in the outtro. Everso has the feel of a centrepiece, a proper anthem with pounding drums and strident guitars but doesn’t quite achieve full lift-off. Elsewhere the album can be ponderous (Red Queen Arms), and it’s a shame they don’t really cut loose on any of the mainly very consistent tracks, closing track I Wonder? threatens to really stretch out but doesn’t quite let fly.
It’s essentially a guitar album, tracks like English Subtitles, the blissed-out Lone Star and the downright joyous Deep Wound would be half what they are without that distinctive guitar sound. Any of it would have fit on 1991’s Raise or 1993’s Mezcal Head, this album adheres very much to the ‘if it ain’t broke’ school, which should please early 90s indie-kids who miss their floppy fringes.
2. Last Rites
3. For A Day Like Tomorrow
4. Setting Sun
6. English Subtitles
7. Red Queen Arms
8. Deep Wound
9. Lone Star
10. I Wonder?