Swervedriver: Swoon-Worthy And Intoxicating

Friday's Pick

  • Song: "Rave Down"
  • Artist: Swervedriver
  • CD: Raise
  • Genre: Rock
Swervedriver 300

hide captionSwervedriver's newly reissued 1991 song "Rave Down" still sounds like a revelation.

Gaz Fail

The last 15 or 20 years have whizzed by, but hearing "Rave Down," from Swervedriver's terrific 1991 breakthrough Raise, still feels like a revelation. The track presciently fills the gap between shoegazer pop and grunge rock, marrying beefy riffs to walls of fuzzed-out noise and a swoon-worthy, intoxicating melody; the result still serves up a heady cocktail of acrophobia and earthiness in one enduring song.

Recorded in the space before rock gave way to electronic rave-ups, "Rave Down" helped define an era without being defined by the times. The fact that the song still sounds refreshingly, bracingly new — and still incites a rush of blood to the aural faculties — is a tribute to its authors, and a reason to celebrate the re-release of both Raise and its amazing 1993 successor, Mezcal Head. Recycling might be all the rage, but pioneering will always be cooler.

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Raise [Bonus Tracks]

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  • Album: Raise [Bonus Tracks]
  • Artist: Swervedriver
  • Label: Second Motion/Hi-Speed Soul
  • Released: 2009
 

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