Swervedriver: Swoon-Worthy And Intoxicating

  • Playlist
  • Embed
    <iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/103709255/103703686" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Friday's Pick

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

Swervedriver's newly reissued 1991 song "Rave Down" still sounds like a revelation. Gaz Fail hide caption

toggle caption 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.

Listen to yesterday's Song of the Day, and subscribe to the Song of the Day newsletter.

Purchase Featured Music

Raise [Bonus Tracks]

Purchase Music

Purchase Featured Music

Raise [Bonus Tracks]
Second Motion/Hi-Speed Soul

Your purchase helps support NPR Programming. How?




Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and Terms of Use. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.

NPR thanks our sponsors

Become an NPR sponsor